I started my day by wiping my glasses from the splatter of last night’s tears. I visited my first grief support group and damn- it was intense. Grief is something humans experience. We all lose the people we love at some point. You’d think we’d be better equipped to handle it. Some may navigate grief better than others. A new concept I learned last night was the idea that someone could “grieve logically.” That someone can feel their pain, accept it, then be ready to move forward in a rather efficient manner. It made me wonder what kind of “griever” I am.
The people I met last night were inspirational. Their situations were nearly unbearable to hear about, so living it- I cannot imagine. Somehow, they are living. They walked through the door and sat down at “support group,” as they all called it. I had trouble even getting out of my car to go in and my loss was different from theirs.
I was afraid. I’d never been in any kind of support group setting. Would it be like the Al-Anon meetings you see on TV? “Hi, my name is Lindsay and I lost a baby. I have gone 23 hours without crying.” And then everyone nods and claps. There were about 10 people sitting around a table, two couples and the rest were women. We did a round-robin share of our stories. After everyone began to share, I felt almost silly being there with my early loss at 11.5 weeks. These courageous souls suffered through losses at 6 months pregnant, 8.5 months pregnant, an overdue pregnancy, and even a 5-month-old baby boy. Some had lost their babies last month while one woman’s son would have been 10 this year. At every stage of their grief, they shared their story bravely and with an incredible clarity and eloquence. No matter how long ago their loss, there were tears as if it just happened. I wept with them for 2 solid hours. They should serve liquor at these things.
Was it helpful? Will I go again? I’m not sure. I believe there is peace in sharing your story and your feelings (I mean hello, here we are on my little piece of the internet doing that.) It was comforting to hear that grief in any form is normal and that anything you need to do/say/feel/think/yell/or drink to help you survive is acceptable. It’s okay to stay home. It’s okay to say no to people. It’s okay to have boundaries. It’s okay to be happy one day and a mess the next. It is hopeful seeing that despair and courage can coexist. One thing I am sure of is that I will never forget these people or their babies. I am honored I was able to share a piece of their hearts with them last night.