No, it is no longer Thanksgiving, but it is still the season for giving thanks. Although, we should give thanks for something each and every day.
While I am having a hard time feeling thankful for much right now, let alone getting into the holiday spirit, one thing has come to mind multiple times.
Groucho Marx has been quoted as saying, "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member". My feeling is quite different. I wish there was no club for people like me...meaning, grieving mothers (or parents in general).
Quite soon after losing my daughter, I learned of the organization Forever Footprints. They just so happen to have a brand new, hadn't even had the first meeting yet, support group in my area. I have been to almost every group and attendance has stayed very low...perhaps 5 at the most.
On October 10th of this year, Forever Footprints hosted their annual Walk to Remember. This event is not only a 5k walk/run, but also has all kinds of booths set up to offer support, a wall with our babies names on it and ceremony of reading the names. I was blown away by the number of people there and torn between sadness and relief.
Sadness that so many families have been dealing with this grief...some recent, some for 20+ years. But relief that I was surrounded by people who understand.
I wish this "club" did not exist, but I'm sure glad it does!
Through the many support systems in place both live and on Facebook, I have "met" (sometimes virtually) so many other women struggling through life, just like me. Again, I am sad to hear their stories, but relieved to know that my feelings are "normal".
Reading their posts, either to me, each other, or just in general...I always nod my head, thinking that's exactly how I feel and that they put my feelings into words.
We all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences with the births and deaths of our children...and yet we all feel the same grief.
So to the support groups and friends I have made along this dark path...I am thankful for you.