I look at my spirit like a garden. There have many days I have been cultivating my garden, and there have been times that the wind and storms have ripped it to shreds. There have been times that I have ignored the weeds and there have been times I have been on my knees, picking each one out. I have introduced new plants to my garden and I have learned which plants are not suited to grow there. Loving and kind friends have suggested that I may be spending too much time on my garden alone. I should enjoy sharing my garden with others.
Just over a year and a half after my husband's passing from Pulmonary Fibrosis, I decided to go to a grief counseling group. Although, I feel that my understanding of my husband's death has been fairly healthy and I can look back over the year and see the ways that I have grown as a person, I also know that it is good to push myself out of my comfort zone. Often it is under these circumstances that I have grown the most.
It was a very small group and ice-breakers were in order to get us acquainted. A small envelope was handed to us and inside the envelope were many words cut into small squares. We were told to pick one word that best described our last week. I poured the words on the table before me and sifted through each one. Words were spread out before me such as Anger, Isolation, Bitter, and Sad. I searched, but could not find one nice word. I did want to say something, maybe all my nice words fell out or was given to someone else in the group. But, I do not like confrontation and I didn't feel like defending my standpoint, that while, Yes, I did feel some of those negative words last week, I also felt Love, Laughter, and moments of Joy. Perhaps in haste, I decided this was not where I needed to be. It's one of those things when you just need to listen to your inner-voice.
I did stay the rest of the meeting and most of my time was spent with ears open, and hands on paper, doodling. I still wanted the discussion to flow through me and to absorb what I could, when another exercise seemed quite fitting. It was explained that grief is not just one big thing but a series of small things over a period of time. For instance, yes, I miss my husband and learn to deal with that everyday- although why is it that when I have a problem with the plumbing, I unexpectedly break into tears and sadness for a whole day? It is because our loved ones are made up of many components and our love has many facets. We not only miss that person, but a million tiny things that remind us of them and grief is mourning each and every one of those things individually.
So, as I listened to this, I began to add to my doodle some of the ways I missed my husband and acknowledge that I will need to mourn these things as well....
*What I miss most of all and really can't be replaced is