NFFF Events

2023 Spouses & Life Partners Retreat

Event Details

This retreat is designed especially for spouses and life partners who want to build resiliency and strengthen your sense of self!

This retreat is open to spouses and life partners of fallen firefighters honored or approved to be honored, at the National Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

This special event, held March 19-22 in San Antonio, Texas, will focus on active steps you can take to assess and improve your well-being. You can participate in peer-led groups and talk with other Fire Hero spouses and partners about experiences, struggles, and progress. Learn from and support one another. The 2023 Spouses & Life Partners Retreat will help you learn techniques to better self-regulate, leading to optimal performance and health—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The retreat will begin with a 6:00 pm dinner reception on Sunday, March 19. Monday and Tuesday will include engaging workshops, open discussions, and opportunities to connect with one another.

We’ll help you explore your current situation and develop personal goals for living a resilient life.


Carrie L. West, PhD

Carrie L. West, PhD

Carrie was widowed at age 29 when her husband died suddenly; her boys were 1 and 6 years old. Since then, she returned to school to learn more about what resilience looks like as a widowed person. Carrie has been dedicated to making the lives of widowed people better and creating resources to help them support each other. She is currently the Director of Research for Soaring Spirits International and Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Director of the Human Performance & Behavior Division at Schreiner University. She co-authored the Widowhood Resilience Scale to help widows assess and decide where to spend their limited time and energy as they heal. Her research is primarily focused on helping widowed people construct resilience after loss.

Susan Hannifin-MacNab, MSW, PPSC

Susan Hannifin-MacNab, MSW, PPSC

Susan is a social worker, educator, and author who holds a Master of Social Work, a Bachelor of Education, and credentials as a teacher and school social worker. After the sudden death of her young husband, Susan founded A2Z Healing Toolbox®, a heart-based business that assists the bereaved in integrating authentic, practical, action-based tools into their lives while healing with intention. She facilitates workshops, trainings, healing retreats and gives keynote presentations internationally. Susan’s five-time award winning book, A to Z Healing Toolbox: A Practical Guide for Navigating Grief and Trauma with Intention, is used by mental health practitioners and bereaved communities worldwide. Susan serves as the Programs and Education Manager for Soaring Spirits International, a non-profit organization that provides programming, support and hope to the global widowed community, and works in support of surviving military spouses through Sugar Bear Foundation for Gold Star Families.

The NFFF will reserve and pay for three nights lodging beginning Sunday, March 19 at the Embassy Suites in San Antonio, Texas. Please plan to arrive at San Antonio International Airport (SAT) before 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 19 and depart on Wednesday, March 22. We will reimburse your travel expenses up to $350 (airfare or mileage) after participation in the retreat. Meals will be provided, with the exception of Monday night’s dinner. This is your night; you will have an opportunity to spend time with other conference participants and enjoy a bit of San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk.

Registration will remain open until February 18 or until the event is full.


Mar 19 2023

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Mar 19 2023

More Info


Embassy Suites San Antonio Brooks Hotel & Spa
7610 South New Braunfels Avenue, San Antonio, TX


Ashley Whitmore
[email protected]
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