Hi, my name is Amelia and I am a yoga teacher and small business owner from Winnipeg, Canada. My firstborn son Landon James was born on July 8 2014, via emergency c-section after his heart rate dropped suddenly during labour. He was resuscitated and put on life support, but due to severe brain damage from being without enough oxygen for too long, his little body started to shut down. He was removed from life support on July 11, and on July 12 he passed away peacefully in our arms after breathing on his own for a precious 17 hours.
I decided to share Landon's story on my Instagram account @ameliakyoga http://instagram.com/ameliakyoga
, which turned into a personal journal, photo blog, and over this past year has grown into an incredibly supportive online community of 100,000 beautiful souls. There are many times I wonder how I would have survived without this vast web of support and ability to connect with so many other grieving parents. Landon's Legacy Healing Retreats
I created Landon's Legacy Healing Retreats because I wanted to connect more deeply with other moms who have experienced similar losses, and to create a sisterhood of empowerment and healing. The retreat offers a unique opportunity for bereaved mothers to come together and explore a variety of holistic healing practices at a beautiful lakeside resort in the Whiteshell, Manitoba, Canada. The retreat includes:
- Daily yoga
for grief classes integrated with journalling and compassionate sharing/listening, as well as evening restorative/yin yoga practices
and outdoor excursions guided by special guests with expertise in mindfulness meditation, Ayurveda, counselling, massage therapy, indigenous ritual and ceremonial healing
- Free time
to connect with other participants, spend time alone, and enjoy nature. The retreat gives us a safe and sacred space to speak freely and openly about our children, to share their stories and legacies and connect with them in meaningful ways.
The first retreat ran June 14 -19 2015 and was a huge success! 24 bereaved moms from 5 different countries attended. The moms still keep in touch almost daily in our Facebook group, plan meet-ups and reunions, and have become a close-knit group of friends. LANDON’S LEGACY 2015
What moms from the first retreat had to say...
"The retreat exceeded my expectations. It was so life-changing and is the best thing I could have done for myself in this grief journey. I was able to express myself freely, without hesitation, and without feeling like i was making anyone uncomfortable. I came out with a new appreciation for life, and am able to see the legacy and beauty in Benny's life... I don't just think about the sadness and pain in losing him. I came home feeling calm and peace in my heart, and although the journey is going to be rough and bumpy I embrace it for what it is. My little boy is still teaching me about life and I have no doubt that he will continue to teach me as time goes. Best of all, I came out of the retreat with 24 new life-long friends and the best support system I could possibly have <3" - Jennifer Hernandez, Benny’s mom
"I felt spoiled to be in an environment where my daughter and our story was always the topic, as well as the stories and babies of all the other mothers. It was comforting to be in a "safe" place where our babies, our stories and our motherhood were the center of everything, which is never the casein our regular lives. I was actually a little sad when I returned to the "real" world again. But I find that I am less guarded about bringing up the fact that I am a mother to strangers. I feel more comforted in my emotional journey and more proud in my role as a mother with empty arms. I have learned ways that I want to honor my daughter in the future. I was able to open up even more communication with my husband following my experiences at the retreat." - Melissa King, Millie’s mom
"I feel that I'm able to live my life a little more freely instead of being held down by so much grief and pain. In speaking with so many women all with different stories, it's helped me to gain a new perspective and try to focus on living my life for Greyson and in honor of him. I know he wasn't given to me to ruin my life, and I finally feel like I'm at a point where I can move forward with it even though it is so painful knowing I won't ever get to experience it raising my firstborn." - Jenna Edwards, Greyson’s mom
"This retreat was set inmy path for a reason. I have felt emotionally and physically stronger since returning. I realized how putting myself in the face of beauty was essential to my healing. Now, even when it's hard, I go outside to enjoy the sunrise, sunset, take hikes, enjoy the wind, the present moment etc. more than ever before. In moments when I am struggling with terrible grief, I remember that I'm not alone. I remember that a sisterhood of women from the retreat and women for generations and generations before have felt my pain and have survived. I remember that women get pregnant again and have healthy babies. I remember my strength. This retreat saved me. Thank you Amelia. I hardly know you, yet I loveyou! And thank you Landon for this beautiful gift. Your short life has impacted so many and in such a powerful way." - Makinsie Evans, Jude’s mom
Money raised will help fund the next retreat, which will take place June 5 -10 2016. The goal is to make this opportunity accessible to all by offering scholarships to those who need financial assistant. Last year over $6000 was raised to provide 12 scholarships between $200 - $900.
In addition to this fundraising account, the following businesses are donating a portion of their sales to the fund:
- The Neshama Project (10% off, 10% to Landon's Legacy using code "LandonsLegacyRetreat" https://theneshamaproject.com/
- Elephant Shoe Teething Co. (50% of Legacy necklace sales) http://www.elephantshoeteethingco.com/
- Mama Malas http://mamamalas.com/
- Ravishing Jewelry https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ravishingjewelry
- HoopInfinite http://hoopinfinite.com/
If you would like to be added to the contact list for the upcoming retreat, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
. Retreat information will be sent out beginning October 15, and registration will open in January 2016.