The first thought that hit my mind as I left the parking lot was,
“I hate going to GriefShare.”
As I began the drive home, I start the process of self-analyzing.
“Why do I hate this? It’s a good thing, right?
People are sharing, doing life together - that's good.
I am taking a step and attending. Also good.
The content in the video is relatable and helpful – I mean, I did take a lot of notes.”
And on and on my thoughts go. I don’t have all the answers for this growing dislike, but have a few ideas.
1. I think I hate it most because I don’t want to be there. AT ALL!
I don’t want to be attending a group because my husband died. Being there maybe helpful in some ways, of course, but it also feels so strange – like an alternate ridiculous universe – highlighting the part of my story I don't like the most.
2. Maybe I hate it because the tension in the room adds to my tension of being there.
This group is a mix of people grieving different losses in their life - not just spouses. This make it all a bit more weird for me. As I am there looking at my most recent loss but also have lost a parent, sibling, grandparents and friends. But am here now for a different reason. I participate and try to be open with my thoughts and feelings - much like I have been in my video and blog posts, but it just still feels uncomfortable still often.
Bright lights in a small room, where some people take too much, others not enough. Where discussion groups are split in two but side by side in said room. One group might be laughing the other sadly sharing – there’s a tension. I feel it in my body, in the group and in the room.
3. I also hate it because this is yet another situation where it seems Josh SHOULD be there.
We've been together in small group situations for the past 10 or more years, we've led, hosted, shared life or, at minimum, been able to discuss our small group dynamics together later. I can’t share this with him. This makes me hate it more.
4. Maybe I hate it today, simply because today was weird, sad feeling day.
In the continuous rollercoaster of up and down emotions - today felt lower. I expect that doesn’t help my perspective of tonight’s gathering. I really, really missed Josh today.
Now, I realize this post has really taken a negative turn, and I am scrambling to find the bright spot. It’s there, but not always as easy to see. Today's positivity is hidden in the fog.
Tonight, I share my grouchy GriefShare feelings because I expect other people have wondered about a grief group, wanted to skip it or had mixed feelings about it. Perhaps it's harder because the grief is so fresh? Maybe not? Lingering grief that has not been discussed could feel the same. Even though, I don’t like going (clearly), I plan to return - knowing there is good in going and finding ways to look at my grief from other angles along with others.
Alternatively, your experience may have been amazing - and that's great. I’m not there at the moment - and as I like to say to myself and others often:
It’s okay! We don't have to feel the same. Grief is such an individualize process.
Plus, God still likes me, even when I am grouchy – that goes for you too.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.