Denise Day Spencer

October 15, 2010

A good ninety minutes

Filed under: Home Front,Personal reflections — denisedayspencer @ 5:53 pm

Last night we made a social worker smile–“we” being my grief support group and the social worker being Barb, our group leader. She asked us to share about changes that have taken place in us, in our homes and in our personal worlds since we lost our loved ones.

Not all of the changes were good. Some were neutral, while others, truth be told, were probably not so great. One member has noticed a lot more gray hair since she buried her husband. Several of us said we’re not at home as much as we used to be. Are we keeping productively busy? Yes. Avoiding the loneliness of the empty house? Probably that, too.

The good stuff, though, it was pretty darn good. I shared how I recently made a five-hour trek to my hometown all by myself, and did several things on my mini-vacation that I simply wouldn’t have done if Michael had been with me. Not that I couldn’t have; I just wouldn’t have. And everyone smiled as I told of going with Noel to the doctor just the day before and hearing my grandchild’s heartbeat for the very first time. Meanwhile, Dave has started on a home improvement project. He’s slowly moving from room to room, painting and laying new carpet. This is the first time he’s shown a real interest in anything since his wife died a year ago. Susan surprised us all by saying that she’d been on a road trip since our last meeting. Though she admitted she couldn’t wait to get back home, this was still a big step for her. The biggest news, however, came from Dorothy. She was positively glowing as she told us that she’s getting ready to go on a mission trip in the near future. And she’s already planning to enjoy it so much that she’ll want to go again.

Barb was absolutely elated. “When I was here last month,” she recalled, “you were the most depressed bunch of people I’d seen in a long time. I went to work the next day and said, ‘Hey, gals. We’ve got to pray for my support group!'” And they did. Barb went on to caution us that at the next meeting, “You may all be depressed again. It comes and it goes.” Yes, if we’ve learned anything so far, we’ve learned that. But for one lovely evening we shared more collective healing and joy than we had ever before known as a group.

And so we trudge on with our tiny steps. Sometimes it seems like three backward for every one in the right direction. Tonight I’m smiling, but a week ago I was sobbing over the six-month anniversary of Michael’s passing. Tomorrow I may be a basket case. But right now I’m glad to have a social worker who cares and prays. I’m thankful for God’s moment-by-moment grace. And I’m grateful for last evening’s ninety minutes of happiness and hope.

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