Renowned storyteller Donna Marie Todd will lead a workshop designed to help people understand, cope with and move forward after suffering loss. The workshop includes morning beverages, snacks and lunch.
Writer and professional storyteller Donna Marie Todd didn’t choose grief work. It chose her. First, she was the caregiver for her parents as they succumbed to metastatic cancer, Parkinson’s, and heart disease. Then, at age 55, when she became a caregiver for her athletic and “healthy as a horse” husband who died from a series of unexpected strokes.
She experienced grief first hand, did her own grieving, and then became passionate about how to help others grieve in healthy ways and also move forward in their own lives. She says, “Most of the resources I found told me what I would experience but didn’t offer many ideas as to how to change the experience of grieving so that I could grow from it. Frustrated, I began building resources for myself. I began to build a program for myself, determined to not only rebuild my health but also find new joy in life. There are lots of resources out there that grieving people can employ, they just aren’t in one place so I took the information I found and built the program that is now the Navigating Loss retreat.”
The National Storytelling Network thought what she was doing was valuable and gave her a grant to further develop the story-sharing retreat program. She is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®.
The day-long Navigating Loss retreat creates a sacred space for grievers to share their stories and receive new ideas for healthy grieving and rebuilding. “I share the life strategies and coping mechanisms that worked for me,” Todd says, adding “We discuss how to employ physical and emotional healing strategies to help rebuild our lives. We share stories. Each person grieves differently and we honor that. There is no “one size fits all” way of grieving. But there are many things we can do to recover, and we explore these in a supportive community of other people who get it.”
Also, please note that the following events are also being held in conjunction with the retreat:
- Friday, February 1, 2019 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Storytelling Concert
- Sunday, February 3, 2019 10:00 a.m. - Storytelling of Scripture and Story Sermon
All events are held at Heritage Presbyterian Church, 965 Kuhn Road, Carol Stream, IL 60188 (across from Glenbard North High School).