For the past couple of months, I have been attending GriefShare meetings every Thursday afternoon. GriefShare is a thirteen-week grief recovery support group sponsored by Many 1stBaptist Church. Each week focuses on a different aspect of grief. Last week’s topic was “When Your Spouse Dies.” I knew what the topic was so I decided that I would skip the meeting. I felt like it would just be too painful. I knew that I would probably cry and I just didn’t want to feel the pain. Now does that make any sense? I attend all the meetings except the one that I probably need the most. But that is what I did. I came up with a good excuse not to go and I even called and told them that I would not be able to make it. My excuse was that RyLeigh was playing her last Jr. High softball game and I needed to watch her play. And that really was a good excuse. I had not seen any of her games because of these meetings and I don’t usually miss her games.
So anyway, this Thursday I went for the next meeting feeling all content and ready to watch the video “Your Family and Grief.” I could handle this. Much to my surprise, they had not covered Session Four, “When Your Spouse Dies,” the week before as planned. Another need had arisen and they had ministered to it rather than following the normal procedures. My heart sank. I did not want to do this but how could I just get up and walk out. So I stayed. And I watched and listened to the video. And yes I cried. But I have to admit, it was good for me. There’s just something about hearing other people discuss some of the exact same thoughts that I have been having. It helps me realize that I am not really going crazy; that instead I am just experiencing grief as everyone else does that has lost a spouse. It also gives me hope that I will one day be able to cope with the loss of Mike; hope that one day I will find a new normal.
At the conclusion of the meeting, I confessed to the group what I had done. And of course, they laughed when I said, “God did it again. He knew what I needed more than I did.”
As I have thought about this today, I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. I find great comfort in this verse and although I don’t know God’s plan and right now I don’t even really like God’s plan, I do know that there is hope. God knows what he is doing and he will see me through this time of grief.