May 14th, 2003

ledbetter tat

I quit...or did I?

Last night was my grief counseling group. I was determined to leave and never go back. I had good-bye on my lips. The last time I had gone, I was left holding a big cup of depression and alienation. The six of us have been together for over a year. We have grown to love one another and each other's lost partners. But I felt I outgrew the group.

My decision was not feckless but rather anchored in practicality. I no longer could devote the time to show up at every meeting and with each meeting missed, I felt I was not only shirking my responsibility to the group but also losing ground in their collective breakthroughs.

Evelyn and Winifred, our two facilitators, told us to give a brief check-in. This is the point we start each meeting with our highlights or, most of the time our lowlights, of the previous week. Winifred announced we would be doing "something different" after everyone spoke. We all gave each other a worried side glance as something different in this group is met with trepidation. We've all had enough of "something different" to last us the rest of our lives. I decided not to break the news to the group on the first go-around and instead I updated them on my job and how it helps deflect my attention away from missing Billy.

Then Winifred passed out a questionnaire and told us to fill in the blanks as quickly as possible. We were each given a few magazines to use as lap-desks on which to write. I was lucky to have the heft of O Magazine and a Christmas edition of Good Housekeeping. I glanced at the questions and my heart sank.

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