Seven people sitting in a small room in a church. Three men. Four women. Feet crossed at the ankles. Hands folded in their laps. Like children on the first day of school, patiently waiting for class to start. Soulful eyes. Upside down smiles. So full of unspoken emotion. Were they to speak the truth, the room would explode in grief and they would surely drown in their tears.
The leader explains that before we share, there will be a video, “Stuck in Grief“. Oh my gosh, what perfect timing! That’s me, I think to myself, almost gleeful that a simple video could cure me of all my woes. Amazing! I’ll be cured of my ills in one short video.
The video drones on and on. Please stop. It doesn’t. The people on the screen point out the signs of being stuck: lingering in bed; not answering the telephone; ignoring emails; not exercising… uh oh.
We all stare at the video, each buried in his/her own thoughts. I try as hard as I can to listen to every word, even though I pray that the video will stop soon. Why am I so impatient? Finally, it ends.
So, does anyone have any questions? We all stare at each other, praying, I’m sure, that someone else will ask a question and puncture the silence that sits like an elephant in the room. Questions? Are you kidding? How much time do you have? Oh, but there’s a problem. Our questions are too hard. They run too deep. They can’t be spoken out loud. We would truly break.
Oh thank God, one courageous warrior has a question. Another offers up an answer. Another politely disagrees. The leader provides some feedback, and we’re off and running! Sad people, trying like heck to communicate our feelings. Trying not to be stuck. Trying to understand what’s happening. Trying to help one another. Quickly assessing who is in worse shape and who seems to be healing. A woman pats the shoulder of the person sitting next to her, offering a bit of comfort. Another asks if anyone has read a book, and explains that the character in the book has an interesting talk with God and that the book is helping her. We all nod in affirmation, trying as we might to lift her a bit higher from the slump she’s in. She lets out a deep sigh and stares at the palms of her hands.
This is good stuff. Why? Not exactly sure. But I’m not afraid anymore. I’m going to give this thing a try. And just for extra measure, I’m going to see a personal therapist too. I’ve spent way too long convincing myself that therapy was not for me. Too many hours weighing my precious family and friends down with my confused thoughts and backslides into despair.
Sometimes, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men just can’t put Humpty Dumpty together again!