Tuesday night was my first group counseling session at the Warm Place. There are 10 of us in the group, all between the ages of 19-25, I think I am the oldest. There are two moderators that are in the room with us to keep things rolling and keep everyone on topic, they have both had a lot of experience in this sensitive area of losing a loved one and were very nice.
At first I was really nervous. I wasn't looking forward to sharing my story with strangers. But the atmosphere was very welcoming. We all went around the room and introduced ourselves and then each had the opportunity to pass around a picture of the loved one we had lost and to tell why we were there. Stories ranged from loss of parents due to natural causes, to loss of siblings, aunts, etc... Every story was difficult to hear and you could tell that each person was feeling such a loss in their life.
Some were there for their second session, having gotten so much from the first 8 weeks that they wanted to come back for another. Everything that is said in group is confidential and I plan on keeping it that way, but there was a girl sitting next to me, couldn't be more than 20 and her story just pierced my heart. It was almost refreshing to be around a group of people who share a similar pain.
Telling the story of how Dad died was very difficult for me. I am the only one in group who has lost a family member to suicide. I'm hoping that throughout the next few weeks I'll learn a lot and grow from everything that has happened. I'm really glad that I'm going to this despite the anxiety I feel in sharing such intimate details of my thoughts and feelings. Please continue to pray for me and my family as we walk down this road to our "new" lives. It hasn't even been two months yet and things are still so shaken.
On a happier note, tonight is Athena's last basketball home game of the season. We are getting ready to head out and cheer her on. I can't believe its the end of her Freshman basketball season. Dad would be SO proud of her. I know I am. :)