My horoscope yesterday said that I would encounter many people who were looking at the down side of life and would do their best to turn me to the dark side. It reminded me that this is against my natural inclinations and that they would likely not succeed. I have not been buoyant like this my whole life though. Although I have always returned to the sunny-side, in the past it has taken me longer to rebound then it does these days. Which brings me to my current dilemma. How to give back without undoing my own progress or annoying others. And I have to admit the latter is the minor concern because I am really done apologizing for the road I have taken as a caregiver and a widow.
As we tooled around the city yesterday running errands, Rob and I discussed again the hospice group situation. He is in a place where he feels that he is not interested in adding any more widows to his acquaintance. I see his point. The newly widowed are draining because they dredge up all sorts of memories and emotions. Extra care must be taken when sharing with them to avoid making them feel as though they are grieving incorrectly or that encourages them to believe that grieving is an end in itself. On the other end there is the problem of widows close to or past your vintage who are mired by circumstances beyond their control, or by choice, and see you as a model of all that is *DGI about grieving and grief. I want to continue with the group. I think I have things to say and share that might be helpful as the woman who is leading the group is not a widow and their are things about grief that are specific to the loss. Perhaps Rob is right that this is not the time or place. We are finding our strides more and more and have a big move again and maybe not the energy to spare. What to do. What to do. Think on it and wait and see, I guess.
Personally, I am not sure why I feel like I need to give back anymore. My success with it so far has been decidedly mixed. Sandi, the founder of the WET grief group back in Iowa, thought I was pretty good at offering advice and empathy. She suggested that I think about starting a group of my own when I got to Canada (or maybe Texas now) but the idea is daunting. She is a very religious person which is why, I think, she was able to bring together such a diverse group of women without a lot of drama popping up. I am not sure that is me. My solution to diversity and drama when I was teaching was to simple suppress it like they did in the former Soviet Union. No drama allowed. And haven’t I given back enough? Another question to ponder.
Finally, reading sad posts on the YWBB (or flames) and blogs and listening to grief stories and experiences in group reminds me that I am not there anymore really and don’t want to be. I am somewhere else that is not back where I was before either and I don’t know how to explain to people who need to know the directions to this place how to get here. And on that completely incomprehensible note, I need to get dressed and on with my day as groceries need to be bought and a new pair of hockey skates need to be broken in later this afternoon. Priorities, people.
*DGI – Don’t Get Its is a derogatory term used to refer to the non-widowed when they make inadvertent statements about grief or timelines to the widowed. It is a reference to their insensitivity that is generally unwarranted.