Thursday, February 25, 2010
We arrived and parked in the parking garage and I started getting some serious feelings. It wasn’t a panic attack or anxiety it was more like…resentment. Why are we here? I never imagined being here…I certainly didn’t plan on coming here and now here I am. It’s hard to explain, but those who knew us well know that Jen and I planned everything. One thing I never planned for was losing my wife and attending the Caring Place.
After a couple of deep breaths I did my best to collect myself, get focused and remained positive. After we got settled in we went into a large room and ate pizza. I counted 12 families there in total. Everyone was sort of spread apart in this large room and you could feel the anxiety and tension. We ate and the girls wanted to go explore and play at the various stations that were setup within the room.
I stayed back and just observed and listened. Abbie and Allie were the only kids playing and I though to myself is this good or bad…I don’t know…I think it’s good, but I’m not sure. The other kids were sort of next to their adult and just sitting there. So Abbie walked up to a little girl, younger then Allie and asked her if she wanted to play. Abbie took her back to the station where Allie was and then Allie got the little girl all setup with a toy. Then Abbie went and got another little boy. Abbie was bringing kids over and Allie was handing out toys…quite a team. They are both amazing kids…and stuff like that makes me see so much of Jen in both of them.
After all the families finished their dinner the orientation started. Each adult from each family had to introduce themselves and tell why they were there (meaning who died in your family). Again, I thought this is where it starts to go bad. We were sitting in the middle so the first couple of people went and talked about their loved one who died. Abbie asked me why we were here and had everyone had someone who died. I did my best to explain beforehand, but didn’t want to freak her or Allie out. Allie chimed right in “so everyone here had someone who died?”
My reply “yep kiddo, everyone here has lost someone so they are families like us”, and with that Allie squeezed my hand and Abbie put her head on my shoulder. Honestly it was a moment I will never, ever forget.
We took a tour and then each of us went to our own room. Abbie went to the 6-9 room, Allie to the 2-5 room and I went to the adult meeting room. The girls each did an activity and I received more info about the group sessions. Afterwards we packed up and went home.
They are going to form groups based on types of loss (parent, sibling etc) and age. Group sessions start in March and May…I expressed a serious interest to start in March. Overall it went well and the girls both said that they wanted to come back. It was emotional…for me…the girls were fine. They (the girls) just never stop amazing me…they are so resilient and strong…so much like Jen. I believe this will be good for them, good for us…and good for me.
Inside Bill's Head -- Previously Known as (Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad)
In August of 2009 my wife Jennifer passed away from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. She was only 38 years old. She left me and our two little girls Abbie and Allie to continue life’s journey.
I promised her that I would NOT become angry and bitter about what happened...in order to do that I am attempting to write to express my thoughts and feelings.
This site is a place where I can express my thoughts, feelings and rants...