I just returned from a YWBB (young widow) dinner in Chicago this weekend. I found this one to be quite different from the rest. In talking my feelings out with a friend following the dinner I was able to come to some conclusions.
Grief is extremely self absorbing. It is truly ALL about you because the grief is so personal. I don’t say this in a negative or derogatory sense. It simply is. Grief is not a linear process; meaning that you don’t go through this step of grief and are finished with it never to return. No, you deal with this step of grief and may take 10 more steps forward only to find yourself back to step one in a few days. When I first started this journey I wanted to “fix it”. I am a teacher-a terrific problem solver and I looked for the formula to “fix” the grief I was feeling so that I could begin to heal. Well, it simply doesn’t work that way. I was looking for the “mark” of healing. This weekend it become apparent to me that yes, healing has not only begun, but God’s promise of becoming whole again is real.
I wish I could paint a masterpiece like DaVinci’s “The Last Supper” that would give you an idea of what the YWBB dinners are like (please don’t email me, I am in no way comparing this group to the Lord’s disciples). We sit around a table sharing a meal, but no one, not even the new members sit in the same chair for more than 20 minutes. There is a constant movement around the room that rivals musical chairs. It is as if we can not get enough of each other’s lives, each other’ stories or each other’s insights (“the church” could sure learn something from this group). For months, I ached for this attachment. I needed to go to the dinners because I was hurting and needed to be with those who “got me”. This dinner (November 4, 2006) was different. For the first time, I couldn’t wait to help another going through the initial steps of grief. I wanted to, for the first time, give and not take. It wasn’t until after the dinner that I realized that was my “mark” that healing was underway. It was no longer about me, but about someone else. It was no longer about my support, but about finding ways to give it. It wasn’t about my own self absorption, but actually WANTING to be apart of someone else’s. I believe this is a gauge of healing no matter your circumstances. When you get to the point where it is less about you and more about others—healing can begin to complete its work in your life. Healing can not only begin…….but for the first time becomes possible.
This I know for sure….