I am a widow and a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®. 

A Navigating Loss retreat is a unique, informative, day-long event for grieving persons.

I bring laughter, fun, fellowship, powerful information and encouragement to grieving persons all while forming a sacred, healing community for them that lives on long after I leave.

Over one million people are widowed in the US each year!
(Statistic: US Bureau of Census)

Navigating Loss Retreats

Your retreat sponsorship includes an honorarium of $2500 for my retreat leadership plus travel and lodging (if required). I provide workbooks, leadership, and post-retreat follow-up for the participants via my blog.  As a sponsor, you will provide the retreat venue, lunch for participants, and snacks for the day. I strongly suggested you charge participants a modest registration fee so that they are invested in their own healing. They need to have some, “Skin in the game!”

“What I liked was not only the sharing with other widows, which is SO wonderful, but also receiving the expertise of a widow-leader.”
Retreat Participant Susan Smialowicz


Help the grieving persons in your area
by sponsoring this unique, powerful, day-long retreat.

A UPMC Hospice Bereavement Coordinator’s Words:

“If I were asked to describe this retreat in one word, I would use the word POWERFUL. I use the word POWERFUL because I was witness to and a part of a process that empowered women who have suffered trauma and significant loss….who lost their husband, best friend, lover, companion, and teammate, with whom they shared a life for several years.

I watched these women connect with and support each other emotionally. I witnessed and experienced understanding, empathy, validation, compassion, strength, hope, (and some hugs). Not only did the women feel empowered when telling their story, they also were encouraged to take very good care of themselves. As a group, the women learned and practiced ways to make themselves a priority by caring for their bodies and souls, through deep breathing, meditation, guided imagery, massage, good nutrition, adequate sleep and stress relief.

One of the most powerful things I observed that day is that the women were able to see a future without their husband. They were able to verbalize hopes, dreams, (whether big or small) and identified some action steps to bring these goals to fruition.

I was pleased to be able to bring this retreat to my community and honored to have met the founder, Donna Marie Todd, and the women at the retreat. It was a powerful experience, and the women were truly an inspiration to me and to each other. I would strongly recommend other hospice agencies to bring A Widow’s Tale retreat to their community to give grieving women a voice, a chance to make connections, to learn self-care, and to make plans and have hope for the future.”

– Jennifer Cox,
Bereavement Coordinator                                                          UPMC Family Hospice, Altoona PA

Plan Your Retreat

Help the widowed women in your area
by sponsoring this unique, powerful, day-long retreat.

Plan Your Next Retreat!

Retreat Testimonial

“The event she created for us was a phenomenal success. She went above and beyond what we had hoped to receive from her and I would highly recommend her to any organization!”


– Cynthia Park, PhD, LPC

Sponsored by hospices, medical groups, hospitals, and churches.

The rereats are sponsored by hospices, medical groups, hospitals, and churches.

Designed for widowed persons anywhere from 6 months to 25 years or more. (Yes, it’s that desperately needed and no, they haven’t had any other program help them in all that time!)

Retreat Testimonial

“Your weekend with us was so well-received. People have already been talking about having you return.”

– Patricia Lind, Carol Stream, Illinois

Retreat Testimonial

“I highly recommend these retreats and the one-on-one Widow’s Recovery System for that ever present and growing group of widows in your congregation. What better gift than to help them find their personal seeds to recovery. Many times real pastoral care is helping others find the someone that CAN help them find their answers.”

– Rev. Bert Ambrose – UCC – OH

A Hospice Social Worker’s Impressions:

Donna Marie Todd’s retreat leadership blended personal experience and professional skills to engage, validate, empathize, educate, and grow the retreat guests.  Her open, honest, and entertaining personality put the guests at ease with the retreat format, with each other, and most importantly with their grief.

Using a combination of large and small groups Donna Marie led the guests through education and application of principles to affirm, to promote healing, and to flourish anew through their unique grief journey.  It was obvious she put all her personal and professional self into the curriculum and the result was a beautiful balance of grief and joy, experience and education.  As an outside observer I watched women bond through tears and laughter, make new connections, and leave feeling empowered to start a new chapter in their lives.  It was simply beautiful.

—Brittany P Feathers, BSW