Have you lost a child? The thought is incomparable to almost anything. I’ve seen the pain first hand and having experienced loss of my own when I discovered the nonprofit, Waves of Hope, I had to tell their story. Visionary, Sean McDonald was inspired to take on a big task of offering hope, peace, and comfort to parents who have been through the ultimate loss. The vision and mission behind Waves of Hope are to provide support and tools for parents who have lost a child. The nonprofit helps parents process grief and discover new perspectives after a life-altering tragedy.
Everything changes the day a parent loses a child. Life will never be the same. The seconds, minutes, hours, and days, following the news of loss, are filled with heartbreak, hopelessness, helplessness, tears, and sorrow. Not knowing our journey on life until it unfolds, all we have is the present. “Right here and right now we experience life. The past has already gone, and the future has not yet arrived. In the present moment can we only really touch life.”
I met Sean when I was visiting his yoga school, Vida Asana, in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica for a yoga retreat. When he spoke of a donation hike for the nonprofit, Waves of Hope, I was intrigued. Having a brother and sister-in-law who had lost their 13-year old son in a tragic accident just months before, I immediately zoned in on what he was doing.
“We hope to provide a purpose for parents mourning the loss of a child,” expressed Sean.
Waves of Hope started in honor of the loss of several loved ones over a year due to suicide, murder, and a car accident. The final straw was the loss of a local community friend and Costa Rica surfing lover. In the event of his friends passing, Sean witnessed the struggles her mother faced losing her child. The pain she endured was a magnetic force behind making Sean’s dream of creating a retreat for parents who have lost a child. The week-long retreat at Vida Asana in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica offers counseling, therapy, yoga, massage, meditation, thrilling experiences in the jungle such as zip lining and hiking, and more. Waves of Hope has partnered with Yoga 4 Bee, a 501c3 non-profit located in Parkland, Florida whose mission is to implement mindful therapeutic yoga programs in our community, especially in the school system.
Waves of Hope has helped many, including Maria Joseph who lost her son Peter almost 13 years ago.
“Peter was murdered March 29, 2006, but they did not find his body for over five weeks. He was found on April 28, 2006. The journey of grief, loss, and healing has been going for a while. Two boys killed my son. I had to endure two hearings and two murder trials. In March 2017, I received the greatest gift from Sean McDonald, an all expense trip to Vida Asana. Before this trip, I had never meditated or practiced yoga. While I was there, I experienced the magic. I found a new paradigm. I met myself in a way I can say took me to a whole different level in life. I will forever be grateful for my experience at Vida Asana. I plan on returning to every retreat for WAVES OF HOPE. This nonprofit and Sean’s vision has blessed my life.”
Vida Asana functions year-round as an all-inclusive yoga retreat facility, and once a year sets aside a week for Waves of Hope. The nonprofit provides an all-expense paid healing retreat to parents in need of help after a loss. Applications are accepted online at WavesofHope.Life.
Waves of Hope is making waves and touching lives, instilling hope and spreading the love. The retreat will be hosted in June 2019. After the resort will be closing for five months for a complete renovation of the property, with a fundraising twist to raise funds for the nonprofit. A select number of apartments will be offered as fractional ownership. The first 25 will be sold at $10,000, which provides a week stay yearly, for up to four people for life. A portion of the purchase will be donated to Waves of Hope. Vida Asana expects to raise $250,000 with this model to provide more help to parents who have lost children.
If you are a parent who has lost a child and are interested in learning more, visit http://wavesofhope.life/.
If you’re struggling right now, please talk to someone about it. Please make use of the resources available. You can text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.