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Support Group

Well, the funeral home that did my mom's funeral/service emailed my sister a little while ago about a support group that was going to be run by one of the director's father and another woman who worked at the funeral home. The focus was the grieving process. My sister asked if I would be interested and if I would be home in time as it starts at 7pm every Thursday starting on the 9th of May and it's a 4 week program. I said I'd be home by 5pm or 5:30pm and she would pick me up at 6:30pm or there abouts.

Well today I was having doubts about going because the past two nights have been rough. I go to bed early-ish but then I wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning and toss about in bed because I'm cold and hot and can't get comfortable. My sister was going through the same thing but she came and got me and we both headed in...

Upon entering we were greeted by the two funeral directors. The one who did my mom's funeral hugged my sister in greeting and then did the same to me but I stood there like a stiff pole cause I regard him as a stranger and personally don't like being hugged, even by my closest friends cause I'm that awkward about it. Well, we went up to the room and we were introduced to three other members who were going to be part of the session as well as the man who would be leading the discussions and the woman who also worked at the funeral home who would participate like one of us.

Well, my first impression was that the guy was long winded. He would start one a line of conversation but would have about 6 mini tangents. Since I was very tired and my brain was fried and I was still coming down from a caffeine high I had a hard time following what he was talking about. I was also annoyed when he ruined the quote at the beginning of the booklet he gave us:

Grief is the normal but bewildering cluster of ordinary human emotions arising in response to a significant loss, intensified and complicated by the relationship we have lost.

As he read the quote he also tried to define several words like 'bewildering' and 'cluster' and 'ordinary' and 'significant' and 'intensified'. All but one involved the word itself in the definition... and this guy said he was a principle at a school for 35 years...

Well, after we got past the bumpy part and the rest of us started to talk a bit it started to improve. I was kind of unlucky, though, when we reached a point and the man wanted to go around and have us identified who we lost... He turned to me first. He knew the two of us were sisters and he thought it was a dad that had died, but I corrected him and said it was our mom. My sister went on to say what she died of and that dad and I were there when it happened and that she had driven over. The man leading the discussion focused on how sudden the loss was and wondered if there had been an signs to indicate there might have been a problem. I said that mom and dad and picked me up after work and in the car she talked about the minestrone soup she had at subway with some of the women from work... then later that night she went to the bathroom and she didn't come out.

When they moved on to the next woman it took everything I had not to cry. I stuffed it down and fought with every bit of strength I had to push my sadness aside so that I could listen to the others. My sister put her hand on my knee and the woman who was assisting brought me some Kleenex. I listened as I heard about the woman who lost her husband of about 20 years, and the next woman who lost her husband of about 40 years to cancer that was detected in in January when it was in stage 4 (he died in the middle of March). The man sitting at the other end of the semi-circle of chairs lost his wife on the 19th of December and he still hasn't received the coroner's report so they don't know what happened yet, why their wife died suddenly.

I wanted to speak a bit more about that night, about some of the guilt I felt... but then he mentioned that the next session would talk of the guilt that each of us feels. I know mine is still that I was just on the other side of a wall... and I had heard the noises from the bathroom and how afraid I was that something was wrong, but how I hoped she was okay... Not that it would have made a bit of difference... Had I found her when I heard those noises she really only had a handful of minutes before she would have died and the ambulance (after we found her almost a half hour later) would have been 2 or 3 times too late... So I am torn because I'm glad I didn't see the life fade from her eyes, but I'm haunted by the sounds and my decision not to check on her... that I waited and hoped she would come out and everything would be fine...

Anyways, I think... the booklet will be of interest to go over. I think I will be going to the next session as it is kind of helpful to be around people who have also lost loved ones and each has a different perspective on the events, each is unique... I hope this helps me climb out of the hole I've fallen into because I am... just so depressed... it literally feels like there is a weight in my chest (different from what I felt from my anxiety). I'm not sure if it was the 2 month marker of my mom's death or/and the fact Mother's day is on Sunday... and I have no mother... I don't know... This month is also horrible because I've been dreading it because it was May! My birthday is up and coming (near the end of the month) and it hurts to think that mom isn't going to be there like she has been the past few years when I had all my friends together and my mom and sister out for a lunch/dinner... But this is the year of first's... so a lot of things are going to hurt...

2 blog comments below

Take my hat off for all of your effort TG. Well done!
deanhills on Fri May 10, 2013 6:07 am
I am glad you are going to this support group as well as speaking with your counselor. I hope both can bring you a little peace.
standready on Sat May 11, 2013 12:43 am

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