When my brother died last year, I thought that as each day passed it would get easier. Well, some days it was easier. Some days I was in denial. Some days I still am. Sometimes the phone will ring and for a fleeting moment, I’ll expect to see his name come up on the caller ID. It never does. He’s gone and I know it intellectually. At the heart level, I sure wish he was still here. There is so much I would have told him. We still had some “getting to know you better” conversations to have but didn’t get to.
So last year I joined a grief support group that was hosted by the hospice where he died. It is a wonderful, heart-centered organization that is staffed by people who understand completely what grief is. And yet they know it’s different for everyone.
There were six of us in the group that I attended. All were widows or widowers except for me who had lost a sibling. One of the widowers not only lost his wife but had lost his daughter to the war in Iraq.
Because of the grief that we shared we all became like a family, understanding each others need to just BE at times and at other times to share our stories about our loved ones without being told “you shouldn’t feel that way.” It honestly became very clear to me what a gift these people are and that we all came together for a reason – for the highest good of all concerned.
The group ended in September (officially) but we all decided to keep coming together once a month to stay in each others lives as the friends and confidantes that we have become. I trust them. We all trust each other.
Yesterday we met for the first of our monthly get-togethers and as I sat with “The Gang of Six” I realized just how much of a gift I have received from them. I hope my presence is a gift to them as well.