Saturday, August 7, 2010
Are you ready to party?
Sybarite Party :Raja,Savoy 2,Parsley,Savoy 1
Originally uploaded by alessandroparisi52
An evening out with the widows.
Tonight was the camp widow banquet. We were provided a wonderful dinner, along with drinks and live musical entertainment. Everyone arrived dressed to the nines. It was an interesting evening to say the least.
My first observation was this. I appreciate the desire to provide us widowed attendees with a party atmosphere in which to celebrate a weekend of connection and shared wisdom. But I couldn't help but notice those that either didn't attend, or those that quickly left the venue. I believe there is a delicate balance of what it is that people are ready for, or comfortable with, depending on where they are in their grief journey.
I know that for the most part I am not really looking for a party quite yet. Although for me, I am easily moved to have a good time with those who get me, and that have a desire to find some joy in our coming together. At the same time I wonder how this evening could have been altered slightly to meet the needs, or the grief developmental stages, of those not quite ready for celebrations.
It was interesting to interact with the attendees when they first arrived, and approached the registration desk. Some who were further from their time of loss appeared to be ready for a weekend of instruction, suggestion, and celebration. Yet, some had traveled here quite early in their grief. They approached the desk looking quite wounded. They would accept their registration materials, and quietly walk to a corner for some quiet solitude. They would be the ones who spoke with tears in their eyes. They were the ones who clearly had not had the opportunity to interact with other widowed people, and now appeared lost and intimidated. These were also the people that I didn't see remain with the group as the evening progressed.
What this told me is that we must always anticipate that others might not be ready for sage wisdom and celebration. Some may need something entirely different. I think these people needed to sit in a quiet place, with a small group of people, and be given the opportunity to share their stories. I have had that opportunity in the early bereavement groups I participated in. I have also had that opportunity with my many fellow bloggers and followers. I arrived here this weekend already knowing many people through my writing, and through theirs. I arrived this weekend having made some major recent strides in my grief journey. I am not quite yet at the 11 month mark, yet I am beginning to feel more comfortable with my grief. I no longer walk around feeling completely lost or vulnerable.
What I learned tonight is this. I, we, must anticipate that others may not be moving along with their grief in similar time periods. We must find a way to bridge the gap that occurs in a group when some are ready to celebrate milestones, while others are far too fragile to even be in this type of environment. I am fortunate to be in a place where I can feel comfortable with both. For those who can't, I will be mindful to create a space that allows them to be with the group without feeling completely overwhelmed.