Tonight’s grief group video included talk of stuff being like a college, or dorm life and the complexities and such; other than the “dorm” part, doesn’t really matter to this post.
But I was reminded of that day, back in late August 1999, when Dad and Mom dropped me off for college. They’d been into the dorm with me and all; I can’t remember but I THINK Dad insisted on our getting lunch or something somewhere. But then, I was dropped off.
He (and Mom) parted ways with me…I was off onto this new journey, and it was a new thing, a new start, a new chapter, new experience…I had to find my way on my own. Without them.
And I know in some ways, here we are again, these last nearly 15 months.
I’ve shared in the past that quote from DRAGONLANCE: “We raise our children to leave us.”
And so that day it began…they’d raised me. To leave them.
It’s been about 8 days since my last post, and I feel like that one was a doozy. For ME. It’s sat with me.
We come toward the end of this cycle of the grief group. Tonight was Week 11. Of 13.
We had someone new to the group tonight…she was able to catch me on my way in and ‘follow’ me; and while I’m NOT a “people person” or “leader” or any of that kinda stuff; tried to take the example of others, and point out the group facilitator, as well as welcome her to the table I was sitting at and such; ‘officially’ introduce myself, etc.
Part of me is NOT even sure why I’m sharing that, really. Week 11–of 13–of my second cycle through. Week 24 overall. 28 if you count the four “off weeks” between cycles. It’s possible that other than the facilitator, I’m the only other one that’s been there every week of these 24. Even the last several weeks when I’ve been close to saying **** it and not going.
But it was also brought up tonight that one is NOT limited to one cycle–one is welcome at any or all.
For ME…this has been “structure” in my life. It’s been “that thing” that I do Monday nights. I may “dread” Mondays as Sunday wanes beyond noonish…but toward the end of the day; after work; there’s something to DO; someplace to GO; others to BE WITH; along the road of this journey none of us ASKED to be ON.
Leaving the people aside: the videos provide more insight each time; catching new stuff, or something resonates differently, or whatever. There was mention of…what was the quote? Something about being ready for the information or insight or whatever. Thinking on something that’s said, and “missing” the next few things said; so you pick up a different thing that you could almost swear you hadn’t seen/heard, even when you know that you watched the last time, too.
But then there IS the people. Different people == different dynamics. A different group; different group dynamics. Different thoughts, interactions, insights, stories, etc. While there are 3 others “from last time,” on the whole the group is a different mix. And while those first couple weeks ESPECIALLY I felt like some imposter, or outsider, or intruder, or whatever…THIS group has come to feel “normal” as well, the way the last one did.
I do think I’ll be signing up for the next cycle. Again, for the structure. For something consistent (even in the periodic inconsistency of the group as a whole). Because even this time through, I’m finding new bits, and feeling like I’m…well, FEELING stuff a bit more than the first time. And as mentioned above, it’s like last Sunday’s post…maybe I’m finally making some progress.
Tonight’s topic also was on not having it be one’s IDENTITY.
I AM GRIEVING and processing and adjusting and building whatever a “new normal” will ultimately be.
I AM NOT “The Griever.”
As I’ve mentioned before (at least on Facebook) in marking the weeks; the Wednesday evenings into Thursday; each week for these past 63 (and this Wednesday will be 64) weeks…it may seem repetitive; maybe folks are seeing it (from the OUTSIDE, and not being ME) as broken record or stuck…but it’s me processing. I hardly wanna use the word “celebrate” but if one would say a person should “celebrate” the “little victories” or whatever, then maybe it’s that. It’s marking another week gone by that I am still here. That I have made it to/through.
I still have coworkers who I’m pretty certain have no idea that I’m grieving; that I’ve lost my Dad. Just this past weekend, a friend who I *have* interacted with on Facebook asked about Dad; innocently not even knowing he’s gone. Whatever algorithms, broken records, repetition, etc…this isn’t my IDENTITY.
It’s a significant, life-altering event; my life really IS in a cleaved state. There’s the before…and there’s the SINCE.
But here I am, somehow still here, still going, and presumably, somehow, some way, growing, and perhaps I’ll one day see a “WHY” to it, or some…I don’t know. “Purpose?”
Romans 8:28 reads “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Job 14:5 reads “A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.”
and Psalm 139:16 says “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Plenty more to ponder. But I’m rambling, have not had dinner, have a dog to feed (even if I don’t feed myself) and the hour grows later even as I have work creeping up in barely 11 more hours.