Thursday, January 10, 2013

What Grief Looks Like

Last night I didn’t get much sleep. This morning I’m moving more slowly than usual. Yesterday while teaching, I received a text from a close friend of mine who lost her mom not too many years ago. She had read my blog post “Mama”, and said she “cried and cried”. She said “I’ve texted the girls and…” The girls she is referring to are not girls at all really. They are close friends; grown women who seek to be more intentional and awake in how they live their lives. She had called on them to surround me with support. She was “rallying the girls” for me. She planned a sleepover. I am reminded of the girl-word “slumber party.” She said, “We want to be with you, tell stories, hold you, sit with you in silence if that is what you need.” Wow. I felt so loved, so surrounded by love and support and healing friendship that I burst into tears standing at my desk at school. My poor little first graders were coming in at the time. I used it as an opportunity to speak to them about my loss. I assured them that I was taking good care of myself and how comforting it was to have good friends. A little boy raised his hand and asked, “Good tears then?” “Yes", I said. "Good tears because I feel well loved and supported by the people in my life”.

I was ‘off’ in my work though. In that same class, I was talking about an upcoming lesson. They sat in silence looking at me. A kind and loving parapro who attends with that class walked over to me while I was teaching and gently took both my hands in hers, spoke to me in a loving tone and said, “Ms. Julia, this class has already completed that project. They took it home before winter break”. I stood there looking stunned and let it sink in. She opened her arms and said, “May I give you a hug?” I smiled and said yes, receiving her love and support. All day went like that. It seems my brain is trying desperately to catch up with my body.

This Friday I am accepting my friend’s offer. I am going to Chattanooga for love and support from “the girls”. I am infinitely grateful for the relationships in my life. Today I take it one step at a time. I am patient with myself and my own time-table of healing. Today I can lean on the support of loving friends and family.

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