Our StoryAuthor: Ivonne Lizarazo
On May 18th, 2016 our hearts were eternally shattered when our beautiful Holly Ann Ambrosait decided to leave her body voluntarily following the untimely passing of her boyfriend Chris Louros. Just 9 months later on February 23rd, 2017 our worlds came crashing down around us again when we received even more devastating news that our beloved Lupe Isabelle Galluccio had also taken her own life. The world lost two incredibly beautiful souls who were greater than life and the emptiness they left behind was catastrophic to those who loved them. Lupe Isabell Galluccio & Holly Ann Ambrosait, two young, beautiful, loving and talented girls with their whole lives ahead of them lost their battle with mental illness just months apart from each other and our lives would never be the same.
The passing of these two incredible souls and the continuing pain their absence caused their parents is what inspired this retreat. We initially intended for this experience to be offered to parents that were survivors of suicide, but we quickly realized that there are many ways to lose a child and no matter how you lose them the pain is the immeasurably the same. No parent should ever have to endure the pain of losing a child in any way. Whether its suicide, homicide, illness, overdose, military combat or an accident, the guilt and sadness they carry in their hearts could last for years and sometimes even a lifetime. These grieving parents are often left dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD, feeling broken, lost, alone and full of questions that usually have no answers. They often find themselves stuck in what may feel like an unending loop they can’t break out of. Speaking about their feelings may also be difficult as there is often shame, guilt, fear of judgement or just the feeling that no one can possibly understand their pain. We want to provide a safe space that will change all of that for these parents. A place where they can talk openly about their pain, where they can cry freely and find comfort with a group of people that understand the journey they’ve had to endure. We’d like to have this grow into a community for these parents. A network of support they can connect to at anytime. A place they could return to every year to celebrate life in the name of their beloved children.
At Vida Asana School of Yoga and Mindfulness they will be provided with a serene and safe place to talk and connect with other parents. They will have the opportunity to learn new techniques to cope with any grief, anger or guilt they may be carrying. They will have the opportunity to learn how to channel their emotions in more positive and healthy ways. Available to them will be grief counseling, yoga classes, meditation sessions, breathing exercises, grief releasing workshops, energy work sessions, massages, surfing lessons, hiking, zip lining and so much more. Most importantly they will hopefully remember how to smile again, realize that there is life beyond the grief and that LOVE is the ultimate gift.
Waves of Hope has partnered with Yoga 4 Bee, a 501c3 non-profit located in Parkland, Florida who’s mission is to implement mindful therapeutic yoga programs in our community, especially in the school system. Our healing retreat is now offered as a program of Yoga 4 B.
If you would like to support or mission please CLICK HERE TO DONATE! Please make sure to select Waves of Hope in the drop down menu as the program you would like your donation to go towards in the 4th step of this process.
NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL! ! We have been blessed enough to have been approached by an anonymous donor who has pledged to match us up to $3,000 dollars of whatever funds we raise every year! ANYTHING YOU DONATE WILL BE DOUBLED!!!
All of the proceeds will go towards funding an all-expense paid trip to a healing retreat in Lupe’s hometown of Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica for 10+ parents who financially would not be able to afford such a trip. This retreat idea was started by Sean McDonald, owner of Vida Asana. Sean recently had many close friends lose their children in various ways and he thought this would be a great way to help start the healing process. Our friend Lupe grew up at Vida Asana and later received her yoga certification there. Her mother Rosemarie is the original founder of Vida Asana and still teaches yoga there from time to time.
Lupe & Holly
Our dear friend Lupe Isabel Galluccio, 24, was an incredible professional surfer and just the best human being all around. Lupe surfed competitively all around the world from a young age and she was loved by everyone that was lucky enough to meet her along the way. She touched so many hearts and left a lasting impression on those that came in contact with her light. She shined so bright that it was impossible to miss her in a crowd or forget her once having met. You instantly fell in love with her big smile and genuine compassionate heart. She always had a way of making everyone she met feel incredibly special and loved in her presence. She was a lover of life and celebrated it every chance she had. I can still hear the mischievous silly way she would giggle. Her big hugs were legendary and are sorely missed. Lupe lost her battle with bipolar disorder on February 23rd 2017.
The other gentle and kind soul was Holly Ann Ambrosait, 23. Holly was a sweet, talented girl who loved animals, photography, playing guitar, singing and writing songs. She had an innocent childlike soul but Holly struggled with depression ever since her father Artie, passed away. Artie Ambrosait, took his own life when she was just 8 years old and the impression that left on her impresionable mind consumed her. Holly and her family were making plans to move to Florida looking for a fresh start at life. They knew that Holly would thrive in a beautiful and more healing environment if she was given the chance. Unfortunately their plans were cut short when Holly’s boyfriend Chris Lorous was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on May 10th 2016. That was more than Holly could ever bear. Holly lost her battle with depression on May 18th 2016 and passed away just days after attending Chris’s wake.
In Memory of Chris Louros
Holly & Chris. Together Forever.
In Memory of Artie Ambrosait