This is a weekend for bereaved couples and singles to spend some relaxed, unhurried time with other parents who understand the experience of losing a child. As we go through the weekend, we will learn from each other, pray for one another, encourage each other, and find out that we are not alone on this journey. Our goal at these retreats is to point grieving parents to our only true source of comfort, Jesus Christ. Anyone who has lost a child is welcome to come. You are welcome if your child has been in Heaven for thirty days or for thirty years. You are welcome if your child was stillborn and never took a single earthly breath, or if your child lived to be an adult and had a family of his or her own. Come, knowing you will be surrounded by people who care, who understand, and who will pray for you. This will be a safe place, a place where we can honestly discuss our struggles, knowing we will not be judged, because every one of us has been there at one time or another. We will also share our victories, and rejoice with each other as we move along the road toward healing. What will we do over the course of the weekend? We’ll talk about our kids in Heaven and we’ll pray for each other. We’ll explore the beauty of nature around us, enjoy delicious meals together, discuss God’s presence in our grief, and form lasting bonds of friendship. Our time will be informal, but structured. Certainly, we will cry together … but we will also laugh together. There is no cost to attend one of these special events.
Come, knowing you will be surrounded by people who care, who understand, and who will pray for you. This will be a safe place, a place where we can honestly discuss our struggles, knowing we will not be judged, because every one of us has been there at one time or another. We will also share our victories, and rejoice with each other as we move along the road toward healing.
Our west Tennessee retreats are held at The Country Place in Moscow, Tennessee (about 45 miles east of Memphis). The Country Place features two inns … The Hospitality Inn and the Harvest Inn … with a total of 20 private rooms, each one carefully decorated in Pottery Barn style. Each inn has a gathering area on the first floor for casual fellowship. Homemade meals are provided on site by Chef Millie, whose culinary skills can satisfy any appetite. Guests are free to enjoy the walking path along the lake, into the gardens, and through the fields. Other available activities include horseshoes, basketball, and canoeing. This event is open to both single parents and married couples. Lodging for Friday and Saturday nights at The Country Place is provided, and there is no cost to attend this event.
Bill and Melissa McCollum’s 19-year-old son, Clint, went to Heaven on January 7, 2020, following a single car accident. Bill works in IT support and Melissa is a nurse. They have been married for 28 years and enjoy spending time with their daughter, Amber. Some of their greatest memories as a family are serving on mission trips to Guatemala, Uganda, and Alaska. They have gained strength on their journey through reading other bereaved parent’s stories and attending their local While We're Waiting support group. They are truly leaning on the Lord to assist others on their grief journey.
Jason and Amy Carter consider themselves blessed to be parents to three wonderful children, a son and two daughters. Their middle child, Katie Beth, went to heaven instantly on September 5, 2016, when she was in an auto accident on her way back to college. Jason and Amy founded Live & Love Ministries as a way to continue the legacy of Katie Beth’s life of living life to the fullest and loving God and others well. Jason and Amy are both career educators and enjoy spending time with their other wonderful children and their precious grandbabies.
Sean and Heather Ellis are the parents of Michael, who stepped into Heaven on July 4, 2016, at the age of 14, one month short of 15. He was on a Polaris side-by-side ATV with four friends when it overturned and fell on him. Sean is employed with FedEx Express in the Air Ops Division and Heather is a stay-at-home mom. They enjoy the outdoors and spending time with their daughter Abigail and supporting her horse barrel racing.
Jason and Robin Hargrove’s son Robby went to Heaven on October 26, 2015 at the age of 24 after a very brief and sudden illness. Jason is an IT manager and Robin is a first grade teacher. They have been married since 1996 and have two other adult sons, Jacob and Stephen. They enjoy nature walks, going on cruises, and are casual foodies. Jason enjoys playing the acoustic guitar and Robin enjoys reading. They both have a hunger for God’s Word and seek the abundant life daily as they wait well.
Our retreats are 100% free, though we do accept a voluntary donation at the close of the retreat.
While We're Waiting is a 501(c)3 non-profit that operates entirely off of generous donations.
Only parents (and stepparents) who have experienced the death of a child are able to attend While We're Waiting events.
Yes, single parents are welcome at all While We're Waiting events.
Yes, you are welcome to attend without your spouse.
Parents are ready at different times to attend a While We're Waiting event. Some feel ready to come within just a few months, and for others, it may be years before they feel ready to come. Only you will know the time that's right for you.
Yes! There is still a benefit to attending a While We're Waiting event, even if your loss was many years ago, and it's possible that you could encourage others whose loss is more recent.
Yes! We have many parents who have lost adult children attend our events. The co-founders of this ministry, Larry & Janice Brown, lost their son when he was 36 years old.
Yes! We have many parents who have lost babies attend our events. We believe that every life has immense value, no matter how brief, and we understand that your grief is just as valid as those whose children had a longer earthly life.
The maximum number of people at our full-weekend retreats is 24, at our Mini-Retreats for Moms is 10, and at our Dads' Days is 10. We like to keep our groups small so people can really connect and build relationships that last beyond the retreat.
You can attend more than one type of retreat; for example, you can attend a Mini-Retreat for Moms and a full weekend retreat. Or you can attend a "regular" While We're Waiting Weekend for Bereaved Parents and a While We're Waiting Weekend for Parents Touched by Suicide. However, you cannot attend two of the same type of retreat due to the waiting list issues we have ... We want everyone who wants to come to have that opportunity!
Please go ahead and register for the waiting list. We quite often get cancellations, and there's a good chance you'll get in. And if we don't get an opening for you, we will have your name in our system and can hopefully get you into the next one!
Absolutely! Just be aware that we are a biblically-based ministry and we believe that a relationship with Jesus Christ is the only source of true comfort in grief, so that will be a large part of our conversation throughout the weekend. We simply ask that you respect the faith of the facilitators and other parents in attendance.