I never attended a grief counseling group after Leroy died. I tried, but the hospice group we used, told me their sessions were for older women. I remember the grief counselor telling me I would be out of place sitting among women who were 20 years older than I.
These women, she said, were going through loss, but on a different scale.
So I used family and friends as my “group” and I think it worked OK. It may have taken a little longer to get through some of the harder parts of loss and I’m still feeling pieces of it, but I’m standing on my own two feet learning the lessons of starting over every day.
Then I met a woman who read me part of her “moving-on” letter to the husband she lost to pancreas cancer. It was a letter than came from the deepest chambers of her heart. She told him how she’d cried, felt panicky, and wasn’t sure she could make it on her own. Then she told him how she began to heal and that now, 15 months since he’s been gone, she feels OK. She told him, “I’m going to make it.”
She’s a stronger person than I am, I can tell you that. I was not even close to making that statement 15 months after Leroy died. WE all heal differently. Our circumstances dictate a different timeline.
I could tell listening to her read the letter, her mind was spinning over the years she had shared with her husband. And maybe that was the reason for the difficult assignment.
After she dried her eyes and the letter reading had stopped, she smiled and took a deep breath.
Sure, she will be OK, but, I don’t think she’s moved-on quite as far as she thinks. Healing takes a long time.