|A FAR Sanctuary will be situated on at least 40 scenic acres in or near the Colorado Rocky Mountains.|
Several of the founding members of Friends Along the Road, including Dave and Judy Pierce, Jan Fafard Burnsed, and Barbara Tillman, intend to build or inspire a network of bereavement sanctuaries around the planet: safe comfortable places in which people in grief may stay or live without being pressured with any sort of agenda. The prime sanctuary may (we do not really know at this point) be located in Colorado, possibly in the foothills along the Front Range between Boulder and Larkspur. A natural, rural setting, with animals, aquaculture, organic gardens, edible landscaping, and lots of fresh air will be amenable to contemplation and comfort. In this peaceful environment the bereaved will have the place and time in which to face loss on their own terms, if and when they so desire. Or seek consolation and/or healing. Friends Along the Road supports the idea of healing, but we don't push it. The idea of caring support is centered around the concept of not being pushy. Healing tools and positive frames of reference will always be available to those interested in learning to live with their grief.
The facility will be staffed by trained professionals. Physicians and counselors will always be on call. David and Judy Pierce will live on the premises of the Colorado Sanctuary, directing activities, overseeing all the projects, and most importantly, attending to the needs of the guests.
In time the sanctuaries will become communities of folks dedicated to living healthfully in a country setting (not far from the city) with a minimum amount of stress and a maximum of privacy, friendship, sociability, and chances to practice techniques of natural living and bereavement work. They will be a model communities with windmills, solar power, and home-grown food. More importantly, they will be a places for the bereaved to get away from societally-imposed stresses, and have opportunities to cry, meditate, talk, be silent, be celebratory, socialize, be by themselves, get angry, seek healing, or just be.
As the philosophy of safe havens for the bereaved becomes recognized, a network of friends along the road will spread, providing safe, unconditionally-accepting places in which the bereaved can face death, or just relax for a time, if rest is what they require.
You too can become/create Friends Along the Road Sanctuaries. FAR is a leaderless, open-source social movement, and if you share the philosophy espoused in FAR'S Values and Vision document, you may become a FAR Sanctuary and use any FAR informational material contained on this website, including the FAR logo, as long as you do so noncommercially, and with attribution, as per our Creative Commons Copyright License (see bottom of page). YOU are who make it work. By spherically spreading the seeds of Sanctuary, the idea takes root, spreads about the Earth, and blossoms into interconnected trees of life. We, the FAR Founders, will be glad to provide you and your Sanctuary whatever help and advice we may.
Comfortable places and plenty of time can make an enormous difference in enabling people learn how to co-exist with grief. Sanctuary can be created by almost anyone, in almost any place, at almost any time: on the job, in the supermarket, in a restaurant, in church, at home, in the hospital, at the scene of a tragedy, online, or in prison: it is simply about creating a safe place in which a person in grief can feel comfortable enough to express -- or not express -- the terrible pain of his or her loss.
You can create Sanctuary Anywhere for family, friends, or complete strangers. If you see someone who is suffering grief - a waiter in your restaurant, for example, who has just lost his best friend and is having a terrible time getting orders to the customers - you might ask him to sit at your table, tell him that you are very sorry for his loss and the pain and confusion he is experiencing, and let him know that your table, at that time, is a safe place for him to grieve. Basically, you just need to be there for him, listening, asking if he needs anything, providing what feedback seems most helpful to him, and avoiding conversation about yourself and your own grief as well as not pressurring him with any agenda such as "focusing on the living," "getting a pet," or "seeking healing." However, if the moment seems right, you might offer him resources for the grieving, such as good counselors you may know of, hospice groups, or other people to talk to whom you know and trust to offer similar forms of sanctuary, as well as books, films, and websites.
By being present and accessible as a human being for even a few moments to one who is hurting with grief, you might extend life and hope to one who feels hopeless or at an end. This is one of the greatest things we can do for one another: provide sanctuary wherever we are.
The FAR philosophy of Sanctuary Anywhere is growing and evolving, and more specifics will be added here soon. Please continue to check here to learn more about how you may provide Sanctuary Anywhere.