Last year when I attended the grief group through our church, Crossroads. I learned more than I thought I would and I took away from that group more than I ever thought I ever could. I remember specifically one of the men in our group, Ben, speaking so candidly about his wife and his grief surrounding her death. As he spoke he explained that it helped him to share his grief story with others. His particular story went viral and while that was not his plan, it helped him grieve and God knew it would be a tool to help support others as well. Ben's story can be found here. His story captivated me and I spent the next couple of groups thinking about what he said. It was stuck in my mind and for good reason. For so long I had kept Charlie's story to myself. I talked about Charlie when someone asked (and not many did) and I cried to myself often times alone in my closet curled up in a ball on the floor. I realized I wasn't helping myself or anyone else by letting this be the only outlet for my grief.
So at that point I prayed. I prayed a lot. I asked why God had chosen me to do this. Why do I have to do this? Why do you want someone as weak and frail as myself to carry someone else in these circumstances? Why did Charlie die? Why can't someone else take care of this?
Eventually my prayers (and my OCD tendency to get my email inbox to zero) brought me back to an email that I had saved about grief group. As I read the email I knew that I needed to follow this call and hit reply to an email Karen had sent.
I've said this before but it isn't about me. It's about living through something as difficult as we did and learning that you can be empathetic towards others in similar situations. I am able to put myself into someone else's deep dark rain storm to help them not feel alone. I wanted someone like me to just sit with me. I am now able to be that for someone else.
I start as a leader of the grief group for infants and toddlers on September 22nd. If you know someone that needs someone to sit in their "mourning booth" with them, please send them my email address. Have them read my blog. Tell them they are welcome to come with me to our first group. It's so important for us to love others through this and help others know they are not alone.