Feb 19, 2009

Emotionally drained

I have dreaded tonight for the last few months. Group sessions, ugh.

The little ones were excited to go. Princess literally jumped out of the car and ran to the door when we got there. She thinks they have the best toys. It started with a Pot Luck dinner. We took roasted turkey from a restaurant, because I don't have much time to cook anymore; especially tonight. I raced home to get the kids and we made it with about five minutes to spare.

Our next visit should be less hectic thanks to my sister (in law). She offered to pick the kids up, get some food ready and make my life easy as pie next time we go. Thank you Aunt Jen!

The Pot Luck was okay. I have been craving Mindy's chili for months now. She didn't have a recipe; nothing written down. She just made it. I can't.

The kids went off into rooms with others of their age. I went with the adults. They started talking about what we can do for ourselves so we have strength to then do for our children. Are you kidding me, really, again with this? It's like I wear a sign that says "Tell me I need time for myself". I listen, half heartedly, realizing that my bias is creeping onto my face. We go around the room and tell each other who in our family has died and why. Then we take turns, for those who wish, to share the memory of the moment we found out/realized our loved ones were dead. The thought raced through my mind, “I’m not gonna tell these people anything. How would that help?”

Next thing I know I hear my voice, saying my thoughts. I realize that I don’t care who is in the room. I don’t care if they are listening or not. I just wanted to tell the story. I told it over and over in the first few days after Mindy passed but only to friends and family members. Oh, and the medical examiner and funeral home director. I can’t even yet bring myself to put that stuff on this blog; which is my pseudo anonymous corner of the web for dumping my emotions so they don’t consume my head space. And when I’m finished talking there is an awkward silence. As if I’m supposed to prompt them I’m done. Like a second grade essay paper that has “The End” on the last line as if the lack of additional sentences weren’t enough of a clue. Finally, a small voice from the other side of the room says "Thank you." At least I didn't cry and the lump in my throat wasn't so large that I couldn't speak.

Others shared their stories. I didn’t really pay attention, how selfish am I? Partly because I was consumed with my own thoughts; I hadn’t really thought of Wednesday August 6, 2008 and the breakdown of those events in quite some time. Also because after I finished speaking I was instantly tired and emotionally drained. I did find it to be a nice surprise that there were many Christians there; and others who have turned to the church after their loss. I assumed that talk of Jesus would be frowned on, I don’t know why. I guess the lack of any religious references on the pamphlets and website gave me that impression.

The little ones made pillow cases. Using markers they put happy thoughts on one side with gloom and doom on the other. One side is to sleep on, the other to punch when needed.

The teenager talked to a girl her who lost her mother and the father was in jail. They took turns asking scripted questions to one another. She reluctantly told me what she said to her after I very gently prodded her to open up to me. She asked me what the adults talked about. I told her I would tell her later, only because I was so drained I didn't want to get into it. Maybe this weekend, when I inevitably will have to recount this all for Mindy's parents, I'll have her listen in.

I still don’t know what to think of this place. I guess we’ll be going back a few times to see if it’s a fit, mostly for the Teen at this point. But I keep a careful eye on my little ones too, for signs they're struggling with Mindy's sudden death.

As drained as I am I had to get this posted tonight and get my thoughts about my thoughts down in writing. Tomorrow I’m going to try my best to avoid questions. Try my best to avoid emotions. At least the ones that I can keep half way controlled.

Now, if I can just get one more load of laundry folded I can crawl into bed.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like it went well. The Teen make take a while but I know deep down she wants to be there and wants to talk but just doesn't know how. I hope this place can be an outlet for her.

    You're doing much better than I could ever imagine I would be doing. I would probably be in a mental hospital by now! But I'm sure there are days that you feel like that too. That's why we're here. Any time. All the time. Until the end of time.

    We love you and keep on keepin on because you're doing great! :)