Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bereaved Parents, North of the River

Went to the North of the River chapter of Bereaved Parents last night.

I think my participation with the "Bereaved Parents" group is unusual. I should say that the timing of my participation is unusual. You see, although I had been referred to them often, I never went to a single meeting until probably 2 years after losing Jae.

A lot of reasons,.....the biggest being that the only available chapter was way over in Little Rock, a 45 minute drive from my home.
Another reason? I felt as if I had the intense emotional support of friends and family. I just did not need to go.
Another reason? I think I was afraid of showing how broken I was. I tried to reserve my hysteria for Ralph and my brothers and parents. Didn't really like showing it to them either. I mostly cried outside in the yard, in the privacy of her bedroom or at her grave.
Once I began "the crying", I'm tellin ya,...it was loud and ugly.

Now, almost 5 years later, I still do not NEED to go meet with the "Bereaved Parents" support group. I COULD get along without them. However,.... the meetings that Ralph and I attend never fail to encourage me. The people I meet in that room are some of the most strong, wonderful friends I have. I expect that our friendship could be lifelong, although the reality is that, years will pass, we will "move on" in our grief and other newer, fresher bereaved parents will take our place.

We have a new chapter of Bereaved Parents of the USA. Jim and Cindy Stricklin are the leaders and do it to honor their precious 15 year old son, Ben. We meet the 1st Tuesday of every month at the Baptist hospital at Springhill (North Little Rock). Meeting times are 6:30 to 8:30. Lakeside room on 3rd floor.

The parents who find the courage to come mere weeks after their loss amaze me.
I could not have done it.
But then again,...I wish I had.