The mother-daughter bond is a primal one—losing it to death at a young age can be profoundly disruptive. Unable to grieve as children and teens, motherless daughters often experience lifelong feelings of shame, guilt, and alienation.
Join grief and loss counselor Hope Edelman, MA, and licensed therapist Claire Bidwell Smith, LCPC, to explore the common long-term effects of early mother loss and find meaningful ways to reconnect with your mother.
You will gain a greater understanding of the ties between present and past through journaling, experiential activities, journal writing exercises, and small-group work. Designed especially for daughters who lost their mother before the age of 20, you will:
- Reexamine the concept of so-called “normal” adult femininity and what feels comfortable and appropriate for you
- Understand that you are not alone in your experiences and that much of what you’ve faced in life is a common outcome of early mother loss
- Revisit coping skills you relied on as a child—necessary for survival then—and avenues to letting go of old approaches and re-authoring your life story
- Experience re-membering (a narrative therapy practice), letter writing, and guided visualizations to put your new learning into practice.
You will leave with new self-care tools, new ways to cope with the daily stresses of life, and new insights into present-day relationships. The program will be tailored to the unique needs of the group.
Hope Edelman, MA
Author, writing instructor, grief and loss coach
Hope Edelman is the internationally best-selling author of Motherless Daughters, Motherless Mothers, and the memoir The Possibility of Everything. Her therapy practice is centered on helping other women heal from the lifelong effects of early parent loss.
Her work has inspired more than 40 Motherless Daughters groups and annual luncheons worldwide, and she has developed and co-led Motherless Daughters Retreats with author and therapist Claire Bidwell Smith since 2016.
Hope holds a master’s degree in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa, and has been teaching memoir writing for more than 20 years, most recently in the master’s of fine arts program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Hope is also a Martha Beck-trained life coach specializing in grief and loss.
Her writing has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies ranging from the New York Times to Real Simple to CNN.com. She is an Alumni Fellow at the University of Iowa and an inductee in the Medill Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University, where she received her undergraduate journalism degree.Claire Bidwell Smith, LCPC
Licensed therapist, instructor, and grief counselor
Claire Bidwell Smith is a therapist specializing in grief, and the author of two books about grief and loss. Published in 17 countries, The Rules of Inheritance, a coming-of-age memoir about grief, was a Books for a Better Life Award nominee and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. After This: When Life Is Over Where Do We Go? chronicles Claire’s journey as a grief therapist searching for meaning as she explores various beliefs about the afterlife.
Claire has a bachelor’s degree from The New School university and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University. She works as a writing coach and manuscript consultant, providing clients with writing direction, editing, and publishing tips.
She has a private practice in Los Angeles, California, and leads grief and writing workshops and retreats around the country. She has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Slate, Psychology Today, Yoga Journal, and Chicago Public Radio.View Bio Page
Explore the lifelong effects of early mother loss in a community of like-minded women in a safe space to cry, laugh, stretch, and grow.
Join a nationwide sisterhood of women who understand the particular needs of early mother loss, and share your fears, challenges, hopes, and triumphs.
Empower yourself with new communication skills for interacting with family members, and find a new sense of connection to your mother, no matter how long she has been gone.
Things to Know
Download a sample schedule.
Open to women of any age who lost mothers to death during childhood and adolescence (up to and including age 20).
What to Wear
Comfortable clothes, including exercise clothing for a yoga class
Motherless Daughters, Hope Edelman
The Rules of Inheritance, Claire Bidwell Smith
Special Interest To
Helping professionals who work with women and/or are motherless daughters themselves
About 1440 Multiversity
Beautifully nestled in the California redwoods near Santa Cruz, our 75-acre campus is within easy reach of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
1440 Multiversity is a place to spend time engaging some of life’s most meaningful personal questions and to enjoy, restore, and reenergize yourself as you do it.
You’ll find new energy through immersion learning—setting aside daily urgencies and dedicating uninterrupted time to focus on important, but often elusive, priorities. Our unique collaboration with world-class faculty coupled with an original, inspirational curriculum and magnificent grounds make this a place like no other. Add in fresh, redwood-scented air, delicious and healthy food, deep reflection, fun exercise, and good sleep and you’ve pretty much captured what you’ll experience here.
At 1440 Multiversity, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations to meet your preferences and budget. All of our rooms have been thoughtfully designed to provide comfort, promote reflection, and foster connection with others.
Accommodation rates include more than just the bed you sleep in.
Per-person per-night rates include:
- nourishing locally sourced, seasonal meals
- daily meditation and yoga classes
- non-ticketed evening events
- use of all facilities, including the Fitness Center, steam rooms, and infinity-edge hot tub.
Guests also enjoy access to woodland trails, cafés, and shops.