Tonight (see this is why I never promise anything because I still can't get my head to want to finish the wedding post) we had our Sandcastles support meeting. James is really enjoying it and it does seem to help him a lot. Nicole puts up with it and me....well I don't want to be there. And me and my big mouth, I said that tonight. Out loud. And then I tried to clarify it (and remove the foot from my mouth, but no one had a Jaws of Life handy to help me out) by babbling on about how,"It's not you...it's me...you're all just really great..." and began to realize it sounded like I wanted to break up with them. I am sure they love me. I was trying to articulate how much it sucked to have a group like this, even though the group itself is helpful. I will stop there before that foot inches its way up to the keyboard.
Things we (or I) learned at Sandcastles tonight:
1. There is a guy there who looks just like Pudge Rodriguez and my daughter was thrilled when she got to hold hands with him at "group end".
2. There is nothing that is quicker to bring me to tears than a grown man crying for his wife. There was a man at my table who lost his wife to cancer. He has 3 children. He took care of his wife for two years. He is facing his first holiday season without her and she loved Christmas. He was talking about this to our "special guest" (a hospice worker) and he just kept breaking down. The two of us at the table with him just started sobbing. The hospice worker sat quietly while we cried and then said,"All three of you were related???" To which the woman next to me said, while I shook my head,"No...it's just so very sad." which, for some odd reason, made us all laugh. I think it is realizing the capability that each one of us still has to show empathy. Even while experiencing our own personal nightmares.
3. I can be cruel and mean in my grief. The hospice worker asked me what my plans were for Christmas. So far they have pretending that the holidays aren't coming. I said I didn't know, that I was afraid to get a tree, shop etc... (this is also where I stated how much I hated being there) and she, quite gently, asked,"May I ask how he died?" and I said,"You can, but I won't answer." Why do I talk like that? But it, for that second, really irritated me. Leonard and I (believe it or not, in spite of all my blog blabbing) were/are private people. I did not want this woman to know any of it. For now, I need to keep it...protect it.She was okay with it. I am sure she deals with others like me on a daily basis, being a hospice worker. To this day no one has ever told me that he is dead. I wouldn't let the police officer say it when he came up to me... I know it, but I haven't heard it. I don't want to.
The "crying man" ( I forget his name) came up to me and said after group,"It does get better. I may not look like it does...but I'm better." Which was really very nice of him.