Saturday we had our support group meeting at CMH to help us get through the holidays. I am thankful for these meetings because it helps me feel more normal to be with those who walk in the same shoes. It was a little different for me this time as now we are considered some of the "oldies" of the group. We were able provide help and ideas for the ones facing their first holidays. My heart aches for them and their new loss, especially during this time of year, but sometimes just seeing those of us that are still here three, four, and five years after losing our child is all they need to know that they will survive. I wish I could tell them that the holidays are "just another day" or "no big deal" this many years out, but they aren't and I'm sure they will never be. I wish I could tell them that I no longer have to force myself to do the festive things, but I still do. I wish I could say that somehow after year one of it all, the next year you don't feel like pulling the cover over your head to hide from the jovial world, but I still do. I wish I could tell them that by now "the most wonderful time of year" is just that again, but it is not. But that is what the group is for and I know that I can call on those friends at any point during the next weeks and that we will help get each other through.
The girls went to their own group sessions and this time they were broke out by ages so Mady was in with older siblings and was able to do more talking and less play therapy. I was glad to hear that she was willing to participate in the group session and express her feelings since she is so closed off most of the time with her emotions. They did do some writing in a journal that she shared with me. "When I was young I did not know what death meant. I thought you were at someone house. As I got older I knew what death meant. I want to cry but I don't. I love you but I did not know how to say it. It was very hard to get over your death. I still am not over your death." Talk about heartbreaking for me to read. I have started to wonder if kids at school have said something about "getting over it" to her and that is where that is coming from.