FLORIDA (NBC) – It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child. Now a Florida woman is making it her mission to make sure those parents never have to walk alone.
Ivonne Lizarazo lost two friends within one year of each other. One of those friends attended regular retreats in Costa Rica and that’s how Waves of Hope was born. Connecting grieving parents from Florida and beyond.
Parents are given free room and board, meals and excursions on the Costa Rican retreat. Waves of Hope will even pay for the flight if parents can’t. Throughout the retreat, parents are provided counseling, group therapy, yoga classes, meditation session, breathing exercises, massages, journaling sessions, and more.
“Once the wake and funeral is over and people go home, everybody goes back to their lives and these parents are left lost and broken,” she said.
Pat Woods lost her son Max two years ago when he fell out of a hotel window.
“To get the phone call from the hospital that says you know your child has a traumatic accident and then within minutes to receive another phone call that says I’m sorry we did everything we could but we couldn’t save him,” said Pat Woods.
That’s when she stumbled upon the Waves of Hope page.
“Helping parents heal from grief. So I sent her an email saying how do I become one of the parents you’re helping? What do I have to do?” she said.
Woods figured it would help connect her to other parents and went on the retreat.
“The only people in your life that know what you feel. With the other parents being at different stages of the journey, it gives you hope that you can make it,” said Woods.
If you know someone who has lost a child and needs someone to lean on, you can visit the Waves of Hope site.