Monday, October 01, 2007

Holy grief counseling, Batman!

Noah in Room 8 of the PICU
Noah on the admit floor, August 5th
Noah in his sweet bed at home on June 12th
Noah at home on June 25, 2006

Em and Noah in his last room on Earth in December having together time
Noah's artwork in his home nursery
Noah's sweet little pad next door to Em's room

While it's fresh I should say that although my heart feels like it was ripped out, thrown on the concrete, rolled over by a steamroller and then slapped back into my chest, I'm glad we went to the grief counseling group tonight. We will go every Monday through December 3rd.

I do not like that others have loss in common with us, but that is the reality of life on earth. Another reality is that grief is not comparable. Yes, in life there will always be people who have circumstances that are worse than yours and better than yours, but one man's grief is just that...one man's grief. It can be shared and people supported, but never compared.

The facilitator kept emphasizing that we are not to take on the sadness or situation of our neighbors grief, that we are in the group to focus on our own healing, but hearing every one's hearts tonight, there is no way on earth I'm not praying for each and every one of them. Yes, I know I am there to grieve Noah's death. I will focus on that task at hand, but there is a reason that God has strategically placed these 6 families in one setting for the next 9 weeks. I pray I can be used to encourage while I am encouraged...

We split into pairs and learned the story of the other individual and how their child died. It was encouraging just to say, "I am sorry" and know that the guy on the receiving end of that sentiment didn't expect any more words than that, nor did he desire them.

The group class is at the Ronald McDonald House across from the hospital. After 5 and a half months of driving to and from TCH Denver, I could have driven there tonight with my eyes closed. The timing of this is interesting because where many people hold onto a place as a memory spot for their loved one, TCH Denver moved last week from Denver to Aurora to a brand new state of the art facility. I debated going to the old building last week for one last walk through, but I just couldn't do it. I don't regret the choice. We'll go visit the staff at the new facility...

Noah's room won't be a memory spot for me anymore, either, because God sold our house yesterday! We close on our house 4 days before grief counseling ends...I will miss his sweet little nursery and the fact that he had a room set up just for him next door to Emily. I am so happy to close on this house, though, and finally have it off the market so I can get lots of pictures developed and blown up and put into frames for our next house. We are going to have an artist do a few neat pieces for a memorial in our new place and I feel like that's been on hold for such a long time. The reality is if I lived in a tent or dirt hole, Noah's memory is forever engrained in my heart, therefore as long as I live, no matter where, he's 'there'...

Anyway, because of confidentiality I can't share too many details of other peoples' stories, but God blew Jason and me away with how small He made our world tonight. One precious mom who has 3 children in Heaven and one on Earth was Jason's partner when we split into pairs. We went around after we shared in pairs and then introduced our partner to the group and shared their story. When it was Jason's turn to share this woman's story, he held it together the best he could, but you know how it is when a man cries...everyone follows suit. Come to find out, after class Jason and she were talking and her children were all involved with Teen Mania Ministries. That's the ministry Jason and I have traveled with in the summers in the past. Small, small world.

We ended the time with a story that one of the facilitators read aloud. The book is called, Waterbugs and Dragonflies. It was a good allegory of life on Earth and death and Heaven. I would highly recommend it to anyone wrestling with death and what happens next...It was sweet for me because shortly after Noah was born we took him and his big sis up to the mountains for a day outing. While we hiked around a small mountain lake, Em caught beautiful blue dragonflies in her bug bin. She remembers that day vividly, as do I every time we drive past the Mt. Evans exit on I-70, but I wasn't sad when I heard this story tonight. Another piece of the peace...

I will post every Monday night after counseling while it is fresh to allow others in on the process. I hope it encourages another person out there whose heart feels like my first paragraph to take that first step...

13 comments:

  1. Wow...thanks for posting this. I cannot begin to imagine how close all of you will become over the next 9 weeks. I am looking forward to reading about the healing that takes place!
    Loving you,
    Erin

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  2. I just have to say Noah was a beautiful, beautiful baby! Tears came to my eyes looking at the pictures.

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  3. So glad you went. I know that must have been hard. Partnering in prayer with you!!!

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  4. I am so thankful that you went to your session and I am confident that God will work miracles in yours and Jason life as it comes to grieving that sweet boy of yours.
    Congratulations on the sale of your home -
    This is all in God's master plan!

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  5. pgAdrienne & Jason, you are absolutely right about being put in that particular class with those special people for a reason. Just as each of us reading you blog have been directed here for a reason. My prayer is that this class can help you begin to heal, and to help the others heal as well. Keep letting the love in from all of us around you. Thank you for the pictures of sweet Noah. I like that you continue to include pictures of him for all of us. I'm also glad your house is sold! That must be a great relief for you. Congratulations. The irony of timing of the sale corresponding with the duration of your classes is not lost on me :)

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  6. Glad you all went and will continue to pray for you both and the other parents. God puts us in certain places for a reason. I know you and Jason will shine your light for all the others to see. You have on the blogging world. Your faith is inspiring.
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us and God Bless!

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  7. Anonymous4:59 PM

    Love you lots, Ade. My heart hurts with/for you as I read this. I'll continue to pray for you guys, trusting that the Lord will continue to work for your good and His glory! I'm so thankful that your house sold. Interesting...as we just bought one! Yep - time to leave the UK and head back to Florida. Thanks for sharing what you're going through, I know it will bless and encourage many, as you always do.

    Can't wait to meet you one day, Sister!

    In His grace,
    Jodie R.

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  8. Thank you for sharing our journey with us...

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  9. erika (anothermadhousewife)10:12 PM

    It really is precious to see you sharing your pain and healing and heartache and peace, Adrienne (as you always have on this blog) as you begin grief counseling. I am confident, not only that God will use this experience for you and Jason, but also that he will use YOU and JASON mightily in the lives of others. Our pastor always talks about how we should be overflowing with whatever is inside of us. If there's anger in there, then it's usually spilling out on the people around us. Anyway, that analogy makes me think of you, because you really understand what it means when Paul says, "to live is Christ." So I'll be praying that He (Christ) "spills out" on the people in that group. ;)

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  10. Dear Adrienne,

    I am so glad that you and Jason are a part of a support group. My group has been such a blessing to me. We had our last "official" meeting about a year ago, but we have kept on meeting once a month on our own since then. Five of us, each having lost a spouse, have been the most faithful. I guess that means we are also the most needy for each other. We send each other cards, notes, emails, etc., on special days (you know what I mean), and we are there for the phone call when we just need to talk to somebody.

    As you both are experiencing with your grief, one size does NOT fit all. The loss is with us for the rest of our lives on this earth; the grief process continues to change - two steps forward, one step back - as long as we choose to work on it.

    Gratefully,

    Milt

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  11. That was something, Adrienne. Thanks for sharing about it.

    Congrats on the sale of the house! I'm planning to visit your knew home sometime this winter season ;-).

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  12. Ade,
    So good to hear of your own grief journey as it resonates (of course in its own way) with my own. I just started attending a small group here and me and one of the girls discovered our own grieving connection...her mother died in May of cancer, and of course my brother (which will be one whole year Nov. 1...I can't believe I have lived that long without him!). Amazing how God uses others in the grief. I will begin my own counseling in the next week or so here. In our small group tonight we were meditating on Matthew 5, the beginning of the chapter and when we got to "blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" tears fell, and another drop of healing was felt. What a journey, huh? I continue to pray for your own journey (which I know doesn't end this side of eternity). I am glad to hear how you're doing.

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  13. Noah looks SO much like you!!!!!!!!

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