Izzy and KitKat went to grief camp this Summer. What they left with was amazing. KitKat has opened up more in the past month than she has in 2 years-I will write about that later.
I left with something too which was life changing. I learned something about the 5 stages and it made me weep openly and deeply. A grief therapist was one of the volunteers there and she said the 5 stages of grief are for the DYING. NOT FOR THE GRIEVERS.
Do grievers have stages? Absolutely. Not just 5 of them (but some are included for sure). Not for one year either.
I have so many thoughts and feelings on this that I am still processing and hope I can blog…about a year ago, I was at an event when I struck up a conversation with another mother I didn’t know very well. She asked me about my husband and why he wasn’t with us and when I told her he died a little over a year ago and a bit of history, she looked at me and said “You aren’t grieving anymore, you are depressed.” I walked away from her. My words were taken from me in that moment-my grief was questioned a thousand times after this comment and now? Now I know we have to do better for the dying and the grieving because how we view it and react to it is awful. We have to find a way to make this world a gentler place for the dying and the grieving.
This is John’s birthday month and for the past few weeks, I have been so sad because it’s another one without him. I would have teased him that this was his last year of being in his 40s, that he was old and to enjoy it before he turns 50…but deep inside, I would know, as I did every year, how lucky we were to be growing old together.
I went to visit him yesterday and took a nap next to him. It’s the only time I sleep REALLY WELL. It’s a deep and peaceful sleep. I don’t go often but I sleep next to him every visit (even in the Winter-even in the snow).
Jeff’s Place is having a gala later this month and yesterday’s meeting, they showed us what the kids drew and said. It’s what they will display on each table. Izzy’s picture is so beautiful and KitKat’s made me weep. The pictures are below.
“The problem with grief is that it is love without an anchor; its timeline only goes one way – stretching back into the past because the future you had with this person no longer exists. And when you think about how powerful love is, when it no longer has a home, it can generate a vast amount of internal chaos.” -Pooma Bell
“No, I want another dad. I want a dad to do things with.”
This was hard to hear, take in and deal with. She knows John is dead and isn’t coming back and her logic is, why want her own father? She wished for him back for so long and she realizes her wish will never come true…so she wants another. This will change. KitKat will want him from time to time. She will think about him and miss him and want to do things with him. I know he will never be replaced and he will always be her father.
It’s her grief-her way and her way of dealing with it. It’s different from where I am or where Izzy is. It’s hard to juggle…it’s just so hard.