Is Anybody Out There? I know it's been a LOOOOOONG time coming but I'm Back BITCHES! No this doesn't mean the court case is settled(SERIOUSLY! Going on 2 years now!) I'm just done hiding, in more ways then one. So profound ;-) Can you believe it? A New/Old web address and putting it all out there for the world to see! Or maybe just a few moms who've lost their child too, who might be looking for others who know exactly how she feels. So Here We Go!
Back in August I decided that THIS was the year I was going to reach my hand out of this dark hole I'd been living in for almost 4 years. I figured if Jack could live STRONG for 4 hours then I should be Strong. And how ironic is it that he lived for 4 hours and it's been 4 years? So I decided this was the year, I MUST get reach out and get help!
One of Jory's coworkers, Angel lost her twin boys in February and she and her husband had been going to support groups so I reached out to her to help me "get out of my car" and attend a meeting. In the past Jory and I had driven to events and I could never get out of the car. I was nervous and because I didn't know anyone there, I felt like I didn't belong, even though sadly we do.
So Thankfully Angel offered to meet me outside so we could go into the meeting together. I left Keara's house that night, butterflies in the stomach. I had never met Angel, just chatted with her on Facebook so I was still nervous. As I pictured Keara still holding my hand, Jory called to encourage me. It was like Keara had passed my hand on to Jory and now he was holding my hand. He talked to me until I arrived and saw Angel waiting there for me. I hung up with Jory and walked over to Angel and she hugged me, just as if Jory handed me off to her. It was a great comfort knowing they were all rooting for me.
That first meeting ignited a fire inside me. Finally a place filled with scared, heart aching, empty armed people just like me! We went around and introduced ourselves, crying for each other and through our own stories. I barely got my name and Jack's name out before the flood of emotions was too much. Even though I couldn't tell our story, just talking with everyone about shared feelings and experiences was so FREEING! Finally a place I felt safe enough to remove this "mask" us bereaved parents put on everyday. I was able to be me.
Waiting another month for our next meeting was excruciating! Then when the date finally arrived, it was cancelled last minute, it was like my roller coaster crashed! How could I wait a whole other month?
October finally arrived and I went again, it was good, but not like that first meeting, I needed that comfort, unconditional acceptance, freeing feeling again. I did however get a little further with telling my own story, but still just the simplest facts and dates and I felt the flood coming and had to stop.
Needing another meeting, I finally decided to take the trek up north to the MISS Foundation support meeting. This time, I wouldn't know anyone and I feared I wouldn't get out of the car. Again, my rock, Jory called me, he encouraged me, reminded me how I felt after my first meeting. And I remembered again, if Jack could be strong and live for 4 hours, then I could be strong too!
I went in! They were all really nice and warm and so welcoming. Listening to every one's stories, crying with them, laughing with them, it's something I can't explain. Dr. Joanne Cacciatore is the founder of MISS and the facilitator of this group. She's...there are no words, she's...AMAZING! She's like a mother, so loving, has your back, will fight to the death for you. She can sense when you still need to talk but don't know what to say or what words to use and she'll ask you questions. Even when she's talking with another mom in the room, it's like she's talking to you, you learn so much from her.
When it came time to introduce myself to the group, it was like I was possessed or on autopilot, I couldn't stop myself from telling my story. There were moments when that uncontrollable crying tried to creep in, but I regained control and continued my story. I kept talking until I felt like I had said enough. It still wasn't word for word of The Whole Story but I must have yammered on for 30 minutes! It felt so good, like a cleanse! I had never told his story OUT LOUD like that to anyone before. And there I was the first time going to that group and BLAM I put it all out there!
November came around and again, the Hospital support group was another disappointment FOR ME. Our facilitator was sick so she cut the meeting short and again I didn't get what I needed out of it. There's no fault here, things happen. I just needed more support. So Again, I went to the MISS meeting, it was great! Can't wait for December!
Except I didn't have to wait for December because one of the MISS facilitators is having WEEKLY grief support/workshops on Surviving the Holidays! I went to the first one last Sunday. It was another Amazing experience! The workshop part of this meeting was how to utilize meditation for your grief work.
We've(bereaved parents) have all had experiences losing control: at work, a coworker can't stop telling you about her child who happens to be the same age your child would be if he weren't Dead and worse, he also has the same name or one that sounds similar and this child is just SO out of control or SO cute you could spit. OR you're driving to the grocery store and as you turn in, BLAM there is a group of tiny little scouts selling whatever it is that they sell at the door. And you realize your son will never get to be a scout(even if you never planned on letting him be a scout LOL) because your son is dead. WE can feel the lump in our throat grow, eyes start to water, chest begins to hurt. We can't hear you anymore, we're looking for the quickest escape route to a safe cry zone because our "mask" is falling and falling fast! Before this workshop, I would have ran to my car or the bathroom or wherever and would not be able to stop the flood of tears. But now I can utilize meditation either during this horrendous conversation or after I escape the coworker or scouts. I can also utilize meditation as a way to be with Jack, to hold him, talk to him, learn from him.
I'm so thankful to have found the MISS Foundation and the RTS group at the hospital. Most importantly all these new people who know exactly what I'm going through are all so welcoming and supportive. I'm finally getting the help I've wanted and needed for the last 4 years.
Thank You Jack for your Strength and Bravery. I Miss you and Love you Forever!