Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Grief Edumacation Group

     Since Dad died, I haven't really felt any agonizing grief or deep holes within. I do miss him. I also understand that he was done for long before he actually died. The Lewy Body Dementia in his brain dictated that to be so.

     I did have a month or two where I did sleep a bit more than usual. Yeah, I also respected my needs to be alone or to socialize. I did need a bit more solitude and so I stuck to smaller gatherings rather than parties. I wasn't in a party mood and that was fine.

     Three months and a few days out. 

     I've been to the grief support group at the hospice that meets monthly. It's a small group throughout the winter but nice.

     I saw that hospice was offering a six-week once-a-week grief education group so I signed up. I was expecting education. But it really wasn't.

     The composition of the group is made up of several siblings who lost a parent, several spouses, the moderator, and me. Tears and tissue boxes. And the sentiment expressed was, "It's nice to be with people who understand."

     I think I was the only one not crying out of the bunch.

     And although I am not a separatist of any description, I did learn a couple of things. When my mother buried my step-father and didn't tell me until two weeks later, I experienced "disenfranchised grief." And every once in a while, thinking that I don't have to rush back to check on Dad, that's called "adjusting to not having a caregiver role anymore." It's nice to have the word labels.

     And I really do like the Grief Education Group, in spite of the fact of it being somewhat mis-named. Just as well really. Had it been named something else like "Early Grieving Support Group" I would not have signed up. I reluctantly admit that the group is helping me. I'm not in the same place or even close by as the other folks in the group are. Then again, I've been pegged before with the "marches to her own drum" so this should not be a surprise. I do feel miles away in terms of where my grief is compared to that of the others there. Also not a news flash.

     There are differences in belief systems-- I don't have one-- to be sure. That much is evident by what other folks there talk about. I don't make an issue of my non-belief out in public unless someone is trying to convert me or verbally attacks me or asks me about my religious practices outright. There has been no reason for me to self-identify as an atheist at the grief group so I haven't.

     The similarities. I am the youngest one there. But not by much. We all say yes to coffee or hot chocolate or tea. None of us have touched the food brought in for us. We all speak English. [I don't know if anyone speaks other languages or not like I do]. All of us have experienced the death of a loved one since December 2015. All of our loved ones died with hospice services and supports. We are all human beings. That will have to be enough.

     Life is incredible. And I love living.

sapphoq on life

1 comment:

Chrystal Mahan said...

I'm not sure any one person is ready for death or have prepared themselves for a death of a loved one. I know people talk about they expect it and know it will happen soon when dealing with illness. But, once it does happen, there is this emptiness than nothing can prepare you for. You are heading in the right direction. Healing at your own speed. Making connections. That emptiness will soon fill. And life continues. Now, on your terms.