Wanderlust & Grief

July 13, 2016

It’s different than wanting to travel for the mere sake of seeing the world, or experiencing cultures or checking off bullet points on bucket lists.

When it comes to grief, there are usually two camps. And at different points in grief you might experience both spectrums.

Those who want to get away from it all, and those who prefer to stay in the comfort of the known – whether that be home, a friend’s house, your city or town or your bed curled up with a good Netflix binge.

I’ve personally experienced both sides of this.

In the beginning, I wanted safety. Home. Shelter. My husband’s company. Period.

The world felt so unsafe, and volatile. Dangerous. Bleak. Unpredictable.

As my world started to open up after years of heavy grieving, the world was still the world that my daughter died in, but it no longer felt like a hostile environment. I started to have this itch to run. To bolt. To wrap her precious memory up like a cocoon and let my wings soar because of her. To have adventure, but not in the Travel Magazine sense. I knew what death smelled like. I could remember how it could swallow me alive for days on end. I became thoroughly exhausted by grief. Until it wasn’t that I wasn’t sad, or angry. I was just ready to push back. I desperately wanted to learn how to both grieve and live. That felt and sounded impossible (and crazy), but I had already faced the impossible. So I tried. I gave it my all. I started saving our pennies and dimes and planning trips that for us were a big deal.

It was my coming alive, if you will or at least a very big part.

I’m here to tell you that if you’re in heavy grief, getting away from it all for a while, or staying home — it’s all okay.

But it’s the stepping out that most have trouble with. Accepting happiness. Convincing yourself that it’s okay to laugh, and the smile and to document a life without your child.

What I love about the evolution of the child loss community since we “entered” it, is the sheer amount of resources, heartfelt work and passionate heartworkers that flood this arena inspired by loss and the need to fill the gap where help is needed.

If traveling feels intimidating you might already be familiar with some of them but there are so many grief retreats being hosted throughout the year around the world.

This past weekend I had the honor of running a few art therapy sessions at Camp Cullin, created in love by Ginny Limer from Scared Sidless. She hosts a beautiful weekend for families who have suffered a child loss on a ranch in North Texas. There are activities for two full days for all ages, which makes it so convenient if you are inclined to want to be near your family during such a sensitive time, while also meeting other grieving mothers and fathers.

A few others are Return to Zero Healing Retreat, Faith’s Lodge, Womens’ Writing Retreat and Landon’s Legacy. If you know of others, or would like to share your experience please do so in the comments or on our Facebook page!

Below are some pictures, some mine & some borrowed from others who attended this camp. To view more photos from the adventures from Camp Cullin please click here.

Breaking the Ice with a "Me too" Grief Game
Breaking the Ice with a “Me too” Art Therapy Grief Game
Children & Mothers making the Stitched Heart Project from Facets of Grief
Children & Mothers making the Stitched Heart Project from Facets of Grief Art Therapy workshop


Sunset at Camp Cullin
Sunset at Camp Cullin
Burning something that is holding us back at the campfire
Burning something (written on a piece of paper) that is holding us back at the campfire
Releasing our written intentions on rice paper into the lake
Releasing our written intentions on rice paper into the lake
Beaumont Ranch & Spa Suites
Beaumont Ranch & Spa Suites
Smores & Glow sticks
S’mores & Glow sticks





  • Franchesca Cox

    Franchesca Cox is the founder and Editor of Still Standing Magazine. She is currently seeking her Master's in Occupational Therapy, a yogi and author of Celebrating Pregnancy Again and Facets of Grief, a creative workbook for grieving mothers. Learn more about her heartwork on her website.

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