Days of Healing For Families of the Incarcerated
Having a loved one in prison can be an isolating experience. Many feel that they do not have the right to feel pain about missing their loved one because of the harm they have caused.
However, in our experience, family survivors of homicide experience many of the same feelings that families do when losing a loved one to a life sentence in prison. Our days of healing for families of the incarcerated provide a safe space to process emotions and connect with others who understand what you are going through.
Days of Healing For Survivors
During our days of healing, we invite family survivors of homicide to share space with other survivors. With the guidance of a trained facilitator, participants share their experiences and listen compassionately to others. A variety of therapeutic techniques are utilized to support survivors at these events including guided meditation, movement practices like yoga and tai chi, and art/writing activities. These events provide participants with the opportunity to connect with other families who understand their pain and know what they are going through.
Bringing the Groups Together
During our most transformational days of healing we bring together family survivors of homicide and families of incarcerated people with murder charges. For many, this is the first time they are talking to someone on the “other side”. To their surprise, many participants realize that they share many commonalities and lasting friendships have been formed through these dialogues
We recognize that each person’s healing journey is unique, and do not require participants to forgive or accept forgiveness. We only ask that participants listen to each other with compassion and an open heart. We may share our pain, anger and suffering and sometimes, our celebration, love, and joy.
- The following are guidelines that we ask participants to commit to in order to create a safe space for all:
Confidentiality: The story you tell here is your story, no one re-tells it without your permission
- Listen with respect
- Listen without judgment, without comparing pain
- Listen with compassion
- Take a break if you need it
- Step up, tell your story honestly and with openness, then, step back, let others speak