Grieving the Loss of a Loved One on a Grief Cruise

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Losing someone close to you can be hard and everyone deals with grief in their own way. Who would think that a grief cruise would be a wonderful healing balm during a difficult time? It was for my mom and me.

My Mom and I on the Carnival Miracle – 2014

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I grew up traveling with my mom and grandmother. There are pictures of me as a toddler on Amtrak trains and in places other than our hometown. They had been traveling together for years before I came along and they didn’t let a rambunctious little girl stop their travels. Growing up, I can remember going to Hawaii, New Orleans, St. Thomas, Las Vegas, Niagara Falls, and many other places. This was my summer treat – traveling with my mother and grandmother. We always had a good time and created great memories.

Mom and gramma on vacation pre-Ola

Cruise Addicts are Born

In 1997 my grandmother had a stroke that affected the right side of her body. For a while, it didn’t stop her from traveling, but eventually she stopped. For quite a few years none of us travelled. Then in 2001, mom and I received a cruise as part of our purchase of a timeshare and 2 cruise addicts were born.

When we got back, we regaled my grandmother with all the sights, tales of 24 hours of food, and the multiple ports of call. Mom and I knew this would be something she would truly enjoy. But gramma had almost drowned when she was 2 years-old and had a fear of water. No matter how much we told her about the things on cruises that we knew she loved, she would not go. She told us we could take her on a cruise when she dies. Little did we know at that time that that was even a possibility.

Honoring Gramma

My grandmother passed away on November 10, 2014. She was 91 and had lived a full life. Mom and I decided we would take her where she wanted to go. The last place she spoke about was Hawaii. So, we booked ourselves on the Carnival Miracle and planned to sprinkle her ashes while at sea. It wasn’t something I’d heard of before, but the boards on Cruise Critic were very enlightening.

Carnival was very helpful and respectful. Click here for their Burial at Sea process. Our service was on the second sea day. Having it that early in the cruise allowed us to have the rest of our 15-day cruise to process and mourn. The sea days allowed us time to process and the port days gave us something to do. I don’t think we would have come out on the other side as well as we did if we had not done this.

My video tribute to my Grandmother

Grief Cruises

Mom and I created our own grief cruise, but if you are looking to be with others who are going through a similar experience, there is a grief cruise that can help.

If you are looking for a special way to honor a loved one, Linda Findlay’s Grief Cruise may be what you need.

Linda opened a travel agency with the express purpose of hosting a grief cruise. Her experience working at a funeral home gave her a good idea of what grieving families needed and she felt she could be of service. Linda partnered with conference and grief professionals to help develop a Seminar at Sea program designed to bring grieving families together to experience transformational healing among other bereaved families on a beautiful ship, sailing on the healing waters of the ocean. It is a unique opportunity to experience joy and grief with other participants who are or have been on a journey of grief.

Some of the activities and services offered are:

Seminars and Workshops

Learn from others who have walked in the shoes of grief. Select from a wide variety of workshops and seminars offering inspiration, encouragement, and practical tools full of guidance and wisdom. Pick and choose which seminars feel best for you and your grief!

Small Group Sessions

Every evening, you have the option to join a Circle of Hope, designated by type of loss. Sit alongside your fellow grievers under the guidance of a professional who has experienced a similar loss and ask questions, share stories, and find common ground.

Night of Rememberance

Honor your loved one through a nighttime candle-lighting ceremony at sea. (We can’t use real candles, but battery-operated is just as beautiful!) Join us as we stroll the decks of the ship in a group and memorialize the friends and family we have lost.

Burial at Sea

Have you ever thought about dispersing your loved one’s ashes at sea?  It is a very moving and special opportunity.

Book Your Grief Cruise and Experience the Healing for Yourself

The Grief Cruise is an opportunity to experience an inspiring continuation of healing that will be shared in a nurturing community of people who are or have been where you are in your grief journey-no matter how much time has passed.

Learn from others who have walked in the shoes of grief. Select from a wide variety of workshops and seminars offering inspiration, encouragement, and practical tools full of guidance and wisdom. Pick and choose which seminars feel best for you and your grief!

Have you done an established grief cruise or created one on your own? I invite you to share your experiences below.

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