I went to a grief group on Monday - just to give it a try. For two reasons:
1. I just got out of a 3 week funk where depression and I were battling it out big time. I won. And I plan on continuing to win.
2. There are many times where I think " wow, I am kind of living my life too normal right now...I should be in a grief support group or something". Because when I do realize what has happened I forget to breathe.
So I went. And I left 30 minutes later. Why? Because as I sat there I realized what little hope filled the room. All I have time for is HOPE. Not grief.
In the first 20 minutes we put up on the board all the feelings and symptoms associated with grief (physical, emotional and spiritual). As you can imagine it was a long list and very depressing to think "wow my situation does suck and it is mega depressing!". Don't get me wrong, it was comforting (I guess you could say that) to acknowledge that other people feel or have felt these crazy feelings before. BUT there is a difference in letting those feelings consume you or not. And that was the difference in me. I do not have time to give to grief. Of course I miss Mark and and I think about him in just about every move I make every day and night - literally. I feel him so close to me probably not 5 minutes go by where he is not in my thoughts.
I know these groups are extremely beneficial to some, but for me it just was not going to work. The first 3 weeks you talk about your loved one and you introduce them to the group. Then you acknowledge the loss, and you discuss how you will spend holidays and all the firsts. The facilitator basically said that it is very hard to go through and the toughest is week 3 - 6. The course is 6 weeks.
My grief comes out when it needs too. I can not let it get to me all the time, and for sure not for 6 weeks straight. It would be like opening a can of worms that is not ready to be opened yet. And then what do you do after the 6 weeks? Just deal with it I suppose because it is not going to go away.
So I preferred to leave and continue on the way I have. Letting grief out when I need to in small increments. I have come a long way in 6 1/2 months. Sharing his memory with my girls daily, and with friends and family too. But I choose to get out of bed everyday and enjoy life while I am here. Most importantly, I have HOPE. And if I have hope, then I have God with me at all times.
They gave us a handout with a comic strip on it that said:
Things to do:
1. get out of bed
3. go to bed
Everyone related to it and I did too for a second. You can choose to make this your life. God is not going to come down and get you showered and out the door with a smile on your face. What does that is the attitude you choose. I choose to let joy in and not depression. Then I thought how my girls bring joy to my life, how we play in the park, we grill out, we do crafts, I have friends to see, and just kept on seeing the blessings in my life and thought my "survive" is pretty exciting. It is hard, but it is my life and I embrace it.
I pray for the other people in the group and ask you to please pray for anyone that is going through a tough time and has lost hope or is having a hard time seeing it in the fog of grief. I know I will reach a low again, and when I do, I will ask for your prayers. But it is up to me to get out of that low for my life and the lives of my girls.