I went to the bereavement support group for the second time today. There were about eight women and two men. That told me something right away (well, a couple of things actually). They asked me to introduce myself, so I did. Same for the other male.
The coordinator had a couple of printed packets she wanted to work through. So, she started and then gave each person there an opportunity to say something regarding each topic. She asked people if they’d done their homework.
Some of the widows there are quite close to their loss. Many of them lost their loved one a couple of months ago. A few of us are farther out. I think all of us are trying to accommodate our new status.
We shut down after about an hour and a half. The women gathered about to visit. It is the way of women to deal with their grief by sharing it in this fashion. Most men prefer to deal with grief in private (where it’s safe) and by doing things. That’s one of the big things I learned in my reading.
I’m also a lot farther down the road than most of the folks there. I don’t mean that to be bragging — because I don’t have it all together. But I did the work to address my loss and am still doing the work.
As I left, I thought “This really isn’t for me. Maybe it would have been six or nine months ago, but not any more.” I still have work to do and I have a good idea where that work is. But I don’t think I need the group to do that work. I just need to keep my eyes forward, deal with my grief when it rises, and continue working out my plans. I think it’s going to be more about deciding what I want and then executing that from here on forward. I can do that.
Edit: Since finishing this piece, I got started thinking again. I left the meeting this afternoon feeling pretty good — as in buoyed. I wondered about that in the context of what I learned by going through this second meeting. I finally figured out that what made me feel good was making a life-decision. I decided not to attend more meetings. They aren’t the right thing for me to do.
Then I figured out that when I make a life-decision that is both logical and feels right, I feel better. I get a boost from making a decision… taking an opportunity that I perceive to be moving forward. This is a good thing and I’m glad for the little boost.