Friday, November 12, 2010

Life is Fleeting and Sharing Grief Helps

I went to Spokane recently to help with a weekend grief retreat for parents like me. It was comprised of people whose children died from cancer after suffering through chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, etc. I call it the Crappy Club. We all felt like crap. It is amazing how much it helps to sit around with people who understand all too well how it feels when the bottom of your world drops out and you free fall into a hellish pit of pain that lasts far longer than you ever imagined possible. We shared a lot of laughter too so I don't want you think it was all horrible. I met some fantastic new people and got reacquainted with several from a previous retreat too. As the facilitator it is my job to keep things moving and give people a jumpstart on looking within and learning how to cope with their sadness. The activities are varied as different mediums touch people in a variety of ways. Most of the participants are shocked by what gets to his or her core and brings the tears. It is always fascinating to be with a group of strong capable survivors such as the parents who attended. Of course, I felt honored that they trusted me with their memories and stories. I am always blown away at the workshops. I am always awed by the amount of growth made in such a short amount of time. I see and feel the incredible heartfelt love and support the participants have for each other--- it's inspiring... I also love to hear about the children. Sometimes it is hard to listen to someone whose pain is so raw and so familiar to my own but I also know how much sharing will benefit them in the long run. So, if you are in the throes of grief---don't try to work through it alone. Know that going for help with your grief doesn't make you weak, mentally ill or just means you are taking care of yourself after going through a terrible loss.

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