hands holding lit candle in front of dark background
  • GilChrist Retreat Center
  • Retreat
  • Southwest Michigan
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Wellness and Healthcare

Join us at GilChrist for a two-day intensive women’s grief retreat where you will learn how to explore, express, and stay present with your grief in surprising, spiritual, and creative ways.

During this retreat, you and up to eleven other women will enjoy two days and two nights of learning more about the nature of grief while acquiring some practical tools that will help you work through difficult moments both in the present and in the future.

We will participate in activities such as guided meditation, didactic instruction, group sharing and grief processing, shamanic journeying, storytelling, painting, journaling, kintsugi, a fire ritual at the Stone Chapel, and finally, a remembrance feast for our departed, all while communing with nature and supporting each other in the process.

It is a sincere hope that you leave feeling heard and understood and seen, and that you feel better equipped to continue your life-long dance with loss. You may even make new friends in the process!

While we will be sharing a lot of time together in community, there will be ample time between activities for you to process quietly on your own. The grounds of GilChrist offer amazing opportunities for silent walks both in the woods and through the labyrinth. The cabins are remote and incredibly comfortable.


About the Facilitator: Tracey Malesa-Wheaton

I am a transpersonal therapist who specializes in grief and spiritual/emotional growth. I'm also an End-of-Life doula. My work in both domains is largely informed by my own experiences with suffering and loss and the growth that I have experienced over the years as a result of my intentional engagement with them. I have been in private practice for almost 10 years. In the community, I volunteer as a group therapist for a trauma group comprised of youth who have lost loved ones to gun violence; I plant and care for a neighborhood community garden; I have been a volunteer legal guardian for Logan for more than 20 years; and I volunteer weekly at hospice. At age 55, I find myself still in complete awe of life's unfolding mysteries and enjoy exploring and creating sacred space for the exchange of complex thoughts, feelings, and ideas that so often fall outside the parameters of our everyday ego experience. I’m currently learning the ways of core shamanism so that I can weave that beautiful tradition into the body of my work. Facilitation of spiritual retreats is a great passion of mine, and I look forward to making it a much bigger part of my practice in the years to come.

Registration and Lodging Details

Cost is $575 per person, $650 if you register after September 1, 2023. Cost includes six high-quality meals and beverages and plenty of snacks (vegetarian and vegan options available), educational materials, and supplies for all the craft-related activities. You will take home a gorgeous grief journal and several meaningful creative works with you as a remembrance.

Email Tracey to register for the retreat. Space is limited and payment is due at the time of registration. Venmo, CashApp, check, or credit card are accepted.

Once you have registered, Tracey will direct you to contact GilChrist to reserve your cabin using the online registration form or by calling the main office at 269-244-1130. Lodging is $60 per person per night in addition to the program fee, payable by cash or check at the end of the retreat.

Participants will check in at WindHill between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 9. When you arrive, simply park in the parking lot and make a short walk up to the beautiful conference facility on the hill. If you have difficulty walking, we can drive you using the electric golf cart. Just let us know ahead of time if this is a service you need.

We will mingle a bit and have lunch and get acquainted, after which we will help direct you to your cabins. 

There is a GilChrist-led 30-minute silent meditation in the loft at WindHill, which begins at 2:00 p.m. if you would like to participate, and if not, you can enjoy some quite time in your cabin or walking the grounds. We will begin our work at 3:00 p.m.

Once you are paid in full, you will receive a receipt along with a retreat agreement which outlines all the details. As we get closer to the date of the retreat, I will send more detailed information and an agenda for you.

We will try to accommodate any food restrictions as well as possible, so please let Tracey know if you have any food restrictions in advance at the time of your registration.

Cabin check-out is at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 11.

Note: all group participants are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


GilChrist retreat center logo with white pine sprig

GilChrist is the public retreat center of the Fetzer Institute. We support the Institute’s mission of helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world by preserving a contemplative environment for healing self, society, and the natural world. We warmly welcome both groups and individuals and people of all faiths and affiliations.


GilChrist Retreat Center

Three Rivers , MI 56265 Day Rd