"Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else."
Until this pandemic, the SOS group has never missed a month to meet. As I write this, 2 meetings never occurred. It breaks my heart to think about this. But moreover, how are you managing this latest grief on top of the death of your loved one? Where are you getting support? How can Suicide Prevention Services and our survivors offer more support to you? I’d ask you to email me at Stephanie@spsamerica.org. We have a closed survivor group on Facebook as well.
Here’s what I’m thinking: On Monday, May 18, we have a survivor meeting via Zoom. Someone more tech savvy than I would/could set it up, and we’d finally have our monthly meeting. This is predicated on our state still being “closed”; however, it still is possible we could meet in person at the church either inside or outside.
We see, on a daily basis, that proms, graduations, community events, and church worship services are cancelled. Streaming is the new normal; my family comes to visit and we sit outside at least 6 feet apart.
Right now, I’m grieving the loss of the Mother’s Day Celebration with my family that I love so much. Jen and Ryan, Bill and I, and his sister Connie, head out to a local place for breakfast. This is followed by a trip to Home Depot where Jen buys me flowers for my garden. Then it’s to our own homes where, hopefully the weather cooperates, we plant and clean and work in our gardens.
The afternoon of Mother’s Day is my time with my mom. This is private time. On my hands and knees, I plant orange flowers around “her” stone in my yard. I talk with her. Sometimes I can feel the whisper of her voice, the touch of a finger on my cheek I cry and I chuckle over long forgotten humorous things. Being on my hands and knees is also a prayerful position.
When the dark thoughts come to me as in the “what if’s” and “if only’s” then it’s a higher power I’m talking to and getting answers from. “Let it go…”It is finished”….. People are dying; businesses may never open up again; we’re limited in where we can go and what we can do. I observe and feel all of this.
Do I feel selfish grieving an outing that won’t occur this year? No, I don’t. Every person reading this is grieving heavily and this just adds to it. We can’t hug. Hugs are huge. We can’t sit close to another survivor and have them hand us a Kleenex box.
Some of you may be talking with your therapist on the telephone. Are you calling each other for support? What helps me is walking every day. Yesterday as I was walking back home, it began to rain. It was a gentle rain. I thought, “Who cares? I’ m not going to melt and, in fact, may just pop into a bubble bath with a good book when I get home.
Reading helps; cleaning out drawers helps; talking with friends helps. Of course, above all else, gardening helps. Sometimes it’s just hard to give myself that push to do anything…. We’re in lockdown and our grief is now complicated and complex.
If you are a new griever, you are doing your best every day to just pop your eyes open and, maybe, try to get out of bed. Cry. Reach out which is HARD because at this point you need people to reach out to you. We are in unchartered, unprecedented times.
I’m happy to have Josefina, the SPS admin assistant send you the list of names, emails, numbers from the last meeting or 2. If there’s someone you want to call and/or email, do so. Remind yourself that you are doing your best every single day. Because you are. You count. You matter. Look for the small things that can help…