My friend who lost her son at sea several months before my son died by suicide has been publishing Saturday Meditations. These are very similar to what I share in my Thursday Thoughts. May of 2022, she passed the 4-year mark since her sons’ death, all the while, speaking openly about her grief, heartache, and journey. Much like myself, her written works are cathartic and healing. Just getting what is on our hearts and minds on paper is helpful in processing our own grief.
She also writes Saturday Meditations in order to help others find hope, hope that one day they will be able to lean into their new norm, live a happy and joyful life and not feel guilty or shame for doing so. Additionally, she has experienced significant life changes; moving from her home that she shared with her son and getting divorced.
In her most recent blog, she shared that she was struggling. Her struggles are not what you might think. This time, her struggle is about feeling OK, doing OK, and enjoying life. The exact feelings she encourages others to strive for. She has decided to put her Saturday Meditations on pause as she reflects on her next steps.
December will be 4 years since Connor died. I too am feeling that life is good and that I am OK. If you are asking, no, I am not putting Thursday Thoughts on hold. I am continuing to share my journey. I have ‘arrived” at my new norm as close as possible. However, life is ever-changing and the tools and resources that I have used to survive my son’s death apply to other life circumstances.
I have participated in grief support groups. As I attended meetings, others were in different parts of the grief journey. Some were brand new, like me, fresh, raw, and deeply hurting. Others were doing well. They dared to laugh and smile during the meeting. I questioned how dare they? I was suffering and just experienced the loss of my son. I was at the point in my grief that my world had stopped, and I expected other’s worlds to come to a standstill as well. The meetings were all about the support I needed. I didn’t understand why they kept coming to the meetings. They didn’t need them. They were doing OK.
Now, nearly 4 years later, I understand why they kept coming. In my darkest hours, those old-timers, experienced and doing OK people were the ones that I leaned into, supported me, and made a difference. They weren’t attending for themselves, ok maybe just a little bit. Their attendance and participation were acts of selflessness. They knew what it was like to be in the throes of grief. They knew what it was like to need support. They knew what it was like to feel lost and lonely. They kept coming back to help others so that they can be OK.
And with that, as I am doing OK, I will keep writing Thursday Thoughts. They have morphed and changed as I have traveled my loss journey. That is a good thing. That means I have made progress. I will always miss my son. There will be days that the grief will hit. I am OK with that. It is part of life.