The grieving room is located in the back of the very busy building. To get there you have to walk by rows and rows of cheerful art painted by happy people. I always stop to look at the art. No one seems to purchase any. I wonder if its because they don't like it or if no one has any money. I like it - I have no money so it remains on the wall.
It's a good thing no one ventures to the back - all they'd see is our salty tears and loads of used kleenex. It's where the grief support group meets.
After I turned the lights on I sat down, steeled myself for the emotional tsunami waves welling up and said a simple prayer. I'll keep the words to myself since it probably would piss off 99.99% of the country. Religion and politics have a way of doing that in case you haven't noticed.
One thing I'll say about religion - when you lose a child, you start asking a lot of questions that come with no answers - and the other mother is the same way. She has assured me I would see Nicole again and I have assured her she would see her three deceased sons again. I get pissed off when people religionized my daughter's death. I know religionized is not a word but I think it should be one.
The other mother arrives right on time. Between the two of us we have lost four children. The room is heavy, but not as heavy as it's about to get.
The counselor was on the way to a funeral (she works in hospice) ooo...ooo, another loss but fortunately we do not know that person so we...didn't care. We can't care, we are spent.
A relief for us, not to care about someone who died.
The mother who lost her three children and I are becoming friends. Today we shared photos of our deceased children. I brought several photos of Nicole in an envelope. She brought a photo album of her three deceased sons.
I've talked about her son's deaths before so I won't repeat myself here. She had more to say. Her fourth son is an alcoholic and she's worried he will die as well. I cried and cried.
Every month I tell myself I can't go, it's too hard...then every month when its time to go I remember the mom who lost three and is worried about losing her fourth - and I get up and go.
She tells me - "Sherry, here's a tip. Take a pillow, cover your face. Scream as loud as you can into the pillow. Loud. I mean LOUD!" She said she once forgot to use the pillow and her neighbor came running over.
I think I shall try that next time I feel crazy. Probably tomorrow.