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Young Adult Virtual Grief Retreat

June 13 - June 14

Saturday, June 13, 2020
9:00 am - 11:30 am

This June, in lieu of an in-person grief retreat, Urban Adamah is teaming up with The Dinner Party to offer a virtual grief gathering. Join us as we build community among 20- and 30-somethings who’ve experienced the loss of a sibling, parent, partner, or dear friend. This space is open to adults of all backgrounds, ages 20-39. Because of this year’s virtual format, we recommend that folks with acute, recent losses (within the last few months) sit this one out, and join us in the future when we can gather in-person.

Weekend Schedule: 

While we hope all participants will come to all parts of the weekend, all sessions are optional. You know yourself best, and zoom fatigue is real, so you do you! Come for what speaks to you.

Saturday, June 13: 

9 – 10:45am PT / 12 – 1:45pm ET: Weekend Opening, Framing, & Ritual
11 – 12pm PT / 2- 3pm ET:  Mid-day Sessions: Yoga or Art-Making
2 – 3:30pm PT / 5 – 6:30pm ET: Small Group Time
5 – 7pm PT / 8 – 10pm ET: No Talent Talent Show & Dance Party!

Sunday, June 14: 

10 – 11:30am PT / 1 – 2:30pm ET:  Closing Reflection & Connection

Application: We expect this offering to fill, and encourage folks to apply early HERE.


Sliding Scale $30-100

About the Lead Facilitators:

Chloe Zelkha is an EdM. student in Specialized Studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studies what transformative experiences are made of. Most recently, she worked as a chaplain at UCSF Medical Center, where she journeyed alongside folks who were suffering, ill, or dying. Previously, she served as the Fellowship Director at Urban Adamah and as a youth organizer at The Food Project. Since losing her dad, she’s turned toward the question of how to stay awake to the precariousness of life without living in fear, and she thinks the trick is community. This retreat is one of her answers to that question.

Noah Cochran holds a Master of Social Work degree from the Smith College School for Social Work. Their work and play in the world has been guided by a deep belief in the healing power of relationships, community, and “undoing aloneness.”. Since unexpectedly losing each of their parents in their teens, Noah has been pulled to being with the grief of others as a way to explore their own. For the last six years, Noah has primarily fostered relationships with young folks, most recently as a therapist for high school students in the Bay Area and as a traveling facilitator for a group of college students studying abroad in India, South Africa, and Brazil. They believe in ritual, laughter alongside mourning, and opening to our full aliveness.

Have questions about this program? Contact Urban Adamah.


Why folks in their 20s and 30s? Or: I’m 40, can I come?

Losing someone you love can leave a profound impact at any age. And in this death-denying culture of ours, all of us struggle to find spaces where we can talk openly about that experience. We’ve found, though, that there’s a unique kind of isolation that comes when you are among the first in your peer group to lose a parent, sibling, partner, or close friend. This is also an age group that is typically underserved by the traditional grief community — too old for youth grief support and too young for traditional grief support groups where attendees are often older. For this retreat, we’re focusing on folks in their 20s and 30s. But check below for resources that might be of interest to you.

What about other types of loss?

Losing anyone in your life can be unspeakably hard, and the specificity of this retreat doesn’t mean to take away from that truth. However, due to limited resources and capacity, at this moment we are focusing on serving folks who’ve experienced a few specific types of loss. (And! Loss takes many forms beyond physical loss – break ups, divorces, life-altering illnesses and accidents, incarceration, family separation, deportation, and more). For now we’re focused on a specific type of loss for a specific crowd, so that we can do that really well.

Is this a therapeutic retreat, or a formal grief group?

Nope. This retreat is created for and by peers, and is not, in the traditional sense at least, therapeutic. We do not have the expertise to provide professional therapy or support, and all facilitators are also participants (and all participants will play an active role in holding space for each other). For us, we’ve found that real life experience can be the best form of expertise. And when everyone has only their own story to go on, it means we’re all equally “expert,”  so we’re less prone to advice-giving, or attempts to “fix” something. We recognize that what most of us are looking for is a chance to hear and be heard, and to identify with others who’ve been there. That said, this retreat should be a complement to, and not a replacement for, the other places you can go to see a professional.

What other resources do you recommend for navigating life after loss?

We’re big fans of…

  • The Dinner Party. We highly recommend getting connected to them and joining a table, if it’s right for you!
  • The Grief & Growing Retreat is an annual Jewish grief retreat in the Bay Area for folks of all ages and backgrounds who have experienced all sorts of loss. It is run by the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, which is a great organization to know about in San Francisco.