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The Circle of my Sacred Sorrow

Welcome back to Diane Galloway, a 2022 retreat participant and resident of San Jose. Diane enjoys reading, writing, and spending time in the outdoors as she honors the memory of her son Sean, who went to heaven in March 2014.

I attended my first Sacred Sorrows retreat in March 2022. It was held in the Los Altos mountains of California at the Jesuit Retreat Center. I experienced God’s grace, mercy and healing during that special weekend, and I wrote about my experience in this post:

Then, I returned in September to the same lovely mountains for a gathering of the women I met at the March retreat. It was there that my heart experienced the beginnings of the treasured “Circle.”

“Circle” was the name chosen to define our Sacred Sorrows retreat group. There are several definitions for the Latin derived word, “circle.” One definition reads: “A group of people with shared professions, interests, or acquaintances.”

We have common interests. Even though we are newly acquainted, we have a deep connection because we have all lost a child or children and we all have faith and hope in our Heavenly Father.

This Circle has become special to me. It’s becoming a part of my life. There is a sisterhood that is forming.

This too is a part of God’s grace and mercy. I refer to the women in this group as my "sisters." We have shared the most tragic experience of losing a child or children. We have formed a quiet, understanding bond with one another. We pray together, call each other, text one another, have small group meetings, online gatherings and share book reviews. And we have only just begun.

In fact, we'll meet again at the next Sacred Sorrows Afternoon of Remembrance & Reflection at the Jesuit Retreat Center. There, we'll meet new women who are heart-hungry for healing, heart-hungry for hope. And we'll be there, to witness to the words of Isaiah 43:19:

“For I am about to do something new.

See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

I will make a pathway through the wilderness.

I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

And as this "something new" continues, the retreats will grow - and more circles will form. These safe and loving spaces will bring new fellowship, new conversations, and new healing into the lives of many women who have lost children or grandchildren.

I am grateful to God for my treasured Circle. And for the “sisters” I have met along this Sacred Sorrows journey - in circles that will never end.

For information about our upcoming Spring 2023 California and Arizona retreats, visit

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Diane, that is a spot on description of the real benefits of taking the chance on attending a retreat or participating with Sacred Sorrows in some other way. For all of us, it was a leap of faith. Thank you for putting it into words. Well done.

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