I’m often asked how Ohana Oasis originated. I answer that question with the story of how I came to see it was what I really wanted to do and the process by which we arrived at today with a great team of volunteers, donors, and six retreats under our belts.
What’s been missing is the why of Ohana Oasis’s creation. Maybe it seemed obvious…I’d gone through the death of my daughter and wanted to provide an avenue for other bereaved parents to find some peace and restoration. I’d spent eight years tracking down and utilizing ways to face my grief and pain head on, dedicated to ultimately living a life of joy and purpose. But that’s only scratching the surface. Yesterday I had an epiphany of the crux of the why.
I’m an introvert. Wait, what? What does that matter? I am introvert who processes things internally. I didn’t share much with people, I didn’t join support groups. And yet I navigated my way through and found things that worked for me. I was blessed to have the resources and connections to create a safe path for myself. I knew myself well enough to hold space for the quiet way I knew I needed to walk through the dark tunnel of grief. Now I wanted to hold a safe space and offer tools for the other grieving introverts.
Without doing it consciously, every detail of retreats was created to provide a safe space for introverts grieving and healing in their own way. In our culture geared towards extraversion, even I, without recognizing it, slowly compromised on several of those things. Often for seemingly good reasons, but with yesterday’s aha moment I’m going back to the original on those several things. I’m doing it because all those little things matter.
Grief work is sacred work. Creating happiness and empowerment out of loss is hard enough. The least we can do is give parents a welcoming space in which to do it. Granting bereaved parents a week of safe space is one of the biggest gifts I’ve been given.
Want to follow this year long journey?