Advance warning: Don't read this crybaby stuff if you are trying to have a happy Christmas, already. Save yourself for the happiness you expect to feel when you open your presents, even if you didn't get that Harley, again, and your mother-in-law hates you.
Part one of me says I am too young to be in a grief group. Part two says, grief is part of all our lives, birth to teen, 30-something to ancient crone. And then, there is that hospital-conditioned part of me that knows there are going to be some people in the group that are grieving harder, and maybe faster, than I am. Possibly, it's their third or fourth session for just that many husbands, and who am I to miss out on their experiences?
That is why the door to the hospital chapel was shut tight the other night, because a new grieving session had begun...beginners starting out with "new" grief...and it always starts out private before going public; this I am finding out very well. I don't want anyone to see me crying, especially while working, because then there are questions, and the answers I don't have are garbled and confused.
I tuned into this crying thing last week, it happens, and I noticed that around the hospital, there are many red-eyed people, dotted about in almost the same ratio as Rudolph's nose to the other reindeer's same.
It doesn't seem to matter if the teary people are ER nurses stuffing calm-downers into three-year-olds with brain tumors so they can get an x-ray, or CNA's with drippy ducts caused by the pee fumes they breathe changing diapers on incontinent patients.
Then, there is always at least one child, a girl mostly, crying in the cafeteria because she couldn't have orange soda and had to settle for Sunny Delight. Or, a woman in labor, walking the halls in that crunched over walk they all have when the contractions are getting faster, harder. I want to cry for them if they are wearing a navy plastic gown...because it seems so cold, utterly passionless, to come into a hospital, wear plastic clothing, give birth, then leave...with whom? Just the swaddled baby, as plastic gown-wearers don't usually have family with them. More to cry about there, too.
Back to Grief 101, which will turn into 102 after a couple sessions. Other people will be crying too, we will all breath in on count one, and out on three--together we are one big tear duct squeezing a mass of salt water into the same ocean of wave-tossed pain.
I'm going to talk to Chaplain Deb tomorrow and sign up. I want to know what it is like to be authorized to grieve, in fact backed into a corner and bossed, "You go, girl."
I have never done this heart-baring activity before in public. I am from a staunch local pioneer family, and we have more marble stones in Gilleland Cemetery than tears shed in its lush grass, and the lichen on our stones never sifts off in the rain, either. It's a hardened family we have, and I am insistently, proudly? breaking with tradition, because my heart is breaking and I can't stuff it shut anymore.