Mothers Healing Together

Mothers Healing Together Yoga on the dock of Wiawaka Holiday House on Lake George led by Kathleen Fisk. Attended by Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, and other bereaved mothers from all over New York.In my dream I am in a van with several other people riding through the Ithaca Commons. Outside on the left, we pass my daughter, Marika, who is smiling brilliantly, blindly, walking with a friend guiding her.
“Hi Marika,” everyone in the van calls out to my daughter who died over three years ago. I’m happy she hears their greetings. I call out to her myself, “Marika, we love you.” Through the back window of the van I see her turn and hold her arms out. Her smile fades and she cries.

The alarm clock woke me then. It was time to get up and go off to the weekend retreat for bereaved mothers, Mothers Healing Together.

Hours later, at Wiawaka Holiday House in Lake George, there were women in all stages of grief. They were healing the holes in their lives as they held close the memories of their beloved children. They looked for ways to honor them and link them to the future. I talked with them like they were sisters. We shared our stories and cried together. We laughed together. We bathed in the vibrations of gongs and walked the winding path of the garden labyrinth following one another’s footsteps.

My own memories stirred from sounds echoed over the lake. I remembered  cookouts, camps, attending soccer games, … being so proud of my daughter at school musicals. For the first time in over three years I found myself at a time and place where I was Marika’s Mom again.

I cried when I came home. And I marked my calendar for next year’s retreat.

As for my dream: I tell myself Marika walks happily, peacefully, among new friends as I do. It cheers me to imagine her jamming with the other talented children of the mothers I spent time with who, like me, sing their daughter’s songs and live their children’s dreams.Retreat for bereaved mothers at Wiawaka Holiday House at Lake George, New York with gong bathing, gardens, and sculptures by Pam Golden.

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6 thoughts on “Mothers Healing Together

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Hi Elaine. There were only 20 women but I felt like I found my people. They were so kind and generous in their sharing and understanding of what I am trying to do. I’ll look for more of these types of retreats. I wish I could collect all the stories, all the spirits of these almost-lost but held-close children and their brave mothers.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      It was an amazing retreat, Lynne. They are planning on doing it again next year and I will advertise it. The place, Wiawaka Holiday House was perfect and the women all had stories that when shared made us stronger and closer. Thank you for leaving this welcome message here in my online home.

  1. Melodee James

    I was overwhelmed with grief to know that I could not attend this healing weekend. I was so much in need of time away with people who understood. My surgery could not have been at a worse time. However it turned out my dear friend Naomi was able to go in my stead and to share some of my story and acorns with you all. This made it possible to move on with what I had to do. Naomi and I hope to visit the lambrinth together some time soon. I will continue to share my son’s book of poems and art . I will also keep you all in my heart as we continue to find ways to heal our broken hearts. Peace, Melodee

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Hi Melody. I hope your surgery went smoothly. You and Lancelee were well represented at the retreat. I feel like I know you and your story from what you sent to be shared. And it was so special for me to meet Naomi, another mother who sings her deceased daughter’s songs. I hope to meet up with you in person sometime. Thank you for coming to my site and responding. It means a lot to me to have you visiting my online home.


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