Yesterday I called CMH to RSVP for the memorial service and got to speak with one of the chaplains that was with us the day we were there with Abrielle. We visited for a little while and she informed me that they would be stopping their grief support group after December due to low numbers. Marc and I have not gone as often as we should or as we need to, but I think for us it's the drive. We have to drive two hours, knowing what our trip is for. We sit there thinking that we are about to face this head on, tears and all, and it's hard to have conversations to take your mind off of the process ahead. So the drive there is long to say the least. The drive home is not much better either. We are usually exhausted and mentally drained. I'm sure after a routine of doing this the process becomes easier and we would no longer be quite as spent as what we are now. It was 8 months after Abby's heavenly birthday when we first attended the group. We wanted to prepare ourselves for the holidays ahead and that was the subject they were discussing. That first trip back to CMH had such an overwhelming affect on me that I was not prepared for. As soon as we passed through a familiar part of the hospital, the tears started. They didn't stop the whole time I was there. I was a blubbering mess! But it was what I needed. We were surrounded by a chaplain and a nurse that were there with us that day along with other families that had lost their child too. We were the newbies and everyone wanted to help any way they could. You could feel the love and concern. It was very comforting. We felt free to talk about things that we were so afraid to before. Things we thought would have sent us to the nut house. We discovered we were not alone, not crazy. Unfortunately, the emotional toll made me ill before we left and Marc had to stop several times on the way home. But in all, we felt like we fit with this group. We exchanged emails and phone numbers with others there to stay in contact and have a "been there" friend to talk to. With this group disbanding for the time being, our chaplain gave me phone numbers for a support group in St Joe to call. I called them to get more info and they told me there was a loss of a child support group in Maryville. She gave me numbers, but I guess this group too is no longer in existence. I sometimes get the feeling that we are expected to just deal with this on our own. Anyone out there reading this, Maryville needs a group! We have been to just a grief support group, but it seemed more for the loss of a spouse than a child. Everyone wanted to help, but the loss of a child is different (not that I've lost a spouse). To lose your little girl that you took care of every day, tucked into bed every night, the little princess that looked to you for protection, has to be different than losing the love of your life, your companion. So, after December, I guess we will be making trips to St Joe for support.
Today is also Aunt Becci's birthday. I am sure Abby will be sending pennies and smiles to her Aunt Becci.