Tears of Grief. Tears of Joy. Tears of Healing

Peggy Green - Thee Grief Specialist

By Peggy Green – Thee Grief Specialist

As I walked out the door to attend a weekend grief conference, my daughter said, “Have fun!” Her statement stopped me in my tracks, I had not thought about having fun. What I had thought about was furthering my healing, hearing words of encouragement, adding more coping skills to my toolbox, but have fun? That had not occurred to me.

As I made the hour and half drive, I spent a lot of time thinking about having fun at a grief conference. It felt like an oxymoron. Fun just does not go with grief. The more I thought about it, it became clear that fun, would be an important part of the healing I so desired. I opened my heart to what the weekend would bring.

Normally, when I attend a conference, I prefer a room to myself. It is so that I can get a good night’s sleep. Events like this, I don’t know who I will be paired with. Someone who snores? Noisy? It is hard enough to sleep well in a hotel let alone deal with the goings on of someone I am not familiar with.

This time though, I was looking forward to having a roommate. Something inside me was stirring, a yearning, to connect with another mom. Friday, I checked into my room and did not see a roommate. No worries. It was still early. Dinner came and went and no roomie. I thought she would show up Saturday morning. To my disappointment she did not. I kept holding onto hope she would arrive. My thoughts turned to concern. Had her grief overwhelmed her? Had it paralyzed her? Was she okay? I prayed for her, whatever the reason she was not there.

For 2 ½ days, I bonded with other moms. Some mom’s sons died, other moms, their daughters. There were a few like me who had 2 children pass away. I met a woman who’s losses were so much like mine. It was as if we were living each other’s stories. They were parallel in so many ways. Many years ago, we both lost infants. More recently we both had adult sons die from suicide. I no longer felt unique in my losses. Someone else had the same experience.

Another woman I bonded with also had 2 children die. Her daughter by an IED in Iraq and her son just 5 months ago by cancer. Part of our connection arises from having the same name, Peggy. We soon discovered other similarities, love for the outdoors, a strong will to help others, optimism, and a deep faith in God. There is not a question, through our grief, a life-long friendship has been formed. Had we not been drawn to the same grief conference; we never would have met. I am grateful to having connected.

There are so many more stories of heartbreak and healing. One woman had barely buried her son, just a mere 6 weeks prior. She was there to find hope and healing. Another woman had 3 adult sons pass away.

Through worship, singing, we felt the rawness and pain of each other’s loss. We also felt the hope through God to heal. We came together as one, speak our child’s name and know that others understood. We also laughed together. Laughter that came without guilt. Laughter of life. Laughter that was genuine.

I found myself having fun. GASP! Fun at a grief conference? Yes, it was possible.

I am grateful to be surrounded with other grieving and healing moms. I would never have thought my new best friend would be found at a grief conference. My desire to connect with other healing moms was fulfilled in spite of not having a roommate.

We learned to lean into each other and lean into God. I know how much it helped me, finding a mom with a similar story. You can have this too. Find your “someone”. That someone will lift you up and you can lift them up. As you help each other, your grief will soften and you will rise to experience hope once again of joy, peace, laughter and last but not least, fun.

#thursdaythoughts #thehealingcontinues #tears 

#hopeandhealing

Thee Grief Specialist Website

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