Well, there’s no denying that this is a difficult time for me. Last night I went to a place called Friends In Deed. It was created almost nineteen years ago in response to the AIDS crisis and it has grown over the years to include any serious illness and caregivers, essentially helping anyone who is grieving about pretty much anything. I went there a couple of times when my mother was in Jacob Perlow Hospice a few years ago and it helped. They have what is called “The Big Group” – it’s based on twelve steps principles of sharing and anonymity, but there is a leader, unlike AA or Alanon meetings.
It’s a safe place to open up about what’s bothering you and I like the leader of the evening sessions, Cy O’Neal. She started FID, along with Mike Nichols.
I don’t honestly remember much of what I said when I shared, I think I mostly cried. And I did try to write down what Cy said. I think it was something like this:
It does seem that the old adage “when it rains, it pours” generally is true.
When you look back on a really traumatic situation from your past, you realize that as bad as it was, you also got something really important from the experience.
In my case, a few years ago, when everything else was pretty much falling apart, I eventually got a solo show out of it, the knowledge that I am pretty strong, that most friends are there for you when you need them, that I have a relationship with something, I’m not sure what – but it’s a power greater than myself (not a guy with a white beard – but something). I learned that feelings move through you and it’s better to feel them than to avoid them and that my mother and I have a deep connection of the heart and even though she has driven me (and pretty much everyone else who knows her) CRAZY sometimes, I will always love her.
That stepping up and taking care of someone who is ill is worth all the sadness and the anxiety. In the end, you know you did what you had to do.
And if you need to take the time to grieve, it’s okay, it won’t last forever.
I’m not so good with crying, I’ve always been able to express my thoughts but actually crying or showing emotions has been uncomfortable for me. But now I seem to have no choice in the matter, so I just let the tears come.
And I want to add that I am grateful for all the support and phone calls. It seems like almost my entire high school class has been sending me love on Facebook. I don’t remember some of them and I am amazed at their interest and I’ll take whatever I can get. And although sometimes I think this is too hard, I know I’ll get through it.