Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Beginning Experience weekend is May 5-6 at IHRC

by Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register

(From the March 15, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

The aim of Beginning Experience is, mostly simply, helping individuals heal who have suffered the loss of a significant relationship – through death, divorce, or separation.

Two weekends are held each year, in the spring and fall. The next weekend will be Friday-Sunday, May 4-6, at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, Spokane.

The president of the Spokane Beginning Experience team, Ann Borgman, can speak to the effectiveness of the experience.

She first became involved as someone processing the death of her husband, during a BE weekend in November 2007. Borgman, a psychiatric nurse, joined the team a year later.

The simple purpose, she said during a telephone interview, is “to help people who have lost a spouse through divorce, death, or separation – to help them through their journey, to begin a new life.”

Although rooted in Catholicism – the program was begun by a Catholic woman Religious and a widowed friend – the program is open to everyone.

The weekend helps people “work on trust in God, in self, and others,” said Borgman, so that they can “move into a gentle closing. It’s difficult,” she said, to be able to “say goodbye to that life – maybe not necessarily to the person, but to the life you had with that person. Gently closing the door, and moving on, and starting a new life.”

Within her own life, she said, “I still have grief and issues, five years later, but I’m in a much better space, where I’m able to handle it.”

She called team members “wounded healers. We’ve been through it. It’s so much easier to talk to someone who’s been through it.”

The weekend will take place at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, 6910 S. Ben Burr Rd. in Spokane. Cost of the weekend is $225; a non-refundable $25 deposit is required.

To register, write to: Beginning Experience of Spokane, P.O. Box 9551, Spokane, WA 99209-9551. For registration or information by phone, call (509) 534-1797.

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