A lifetime ago when first husband left us, I was encouraged to attend a "Divorce Recovery" class at a church in a nearby town. What did I have to recover from? Well, let us begin that long list with "anger toward men who left".
I remember sitting in my first meeting and looking at the floor, not wanting to make eye contact. I amused myself by looking at the sad shape of the shoes men in the class wore. I'd go down the row and make snarky remarks in my head: "That guy looks like he mowed the grass in those shoes." "He is a GROWN MAN: why does he have shoes with velcro closures?" "When will the holes in the toes of those tennis shoes render them unusable?" You get my drift. Apparently, my anger might have temporarily been toward, I don't know: all men. Or maybe men who were unable to take care of their own shoes when their wife was gone.
After several weeks of meeting, I was doing my usual pre-class shoe inventory when my eyes were amazed at some highly polished loafers and quality patterned socks. I noticed there was a pressed crease in the khaki cuff that rested on the shoes. Now, here, I thought, was a man who knew how to take care of himself. Unlike his seatmate, Velcro Shoe Guy.
And who do you supposed those well cared for shoes belonged to? My future husband, D.
Ladies, you may notice the face or the eyes first. I was apparently a shoe woman. And the rest, as they say, is history.
I told this story to a close friend recently and she swore she had never heard it before. I guess it is because we never really broadcast the fact that we met in a Divorce Recovery class. After all, that is not the most healthy place to meet a mate. That and the fact that dating was not allowed. So we just quit the class to start seeing each other. Apparently worked for us.
Years pass, circumstances occur, and I began my first Grief Share class tonight. It is in the same church in the same nearby town. To my utter disbelief, it is also held in the same room as the Divorce Recovery class. Drat. I was crying before I even entered.
I know I will benefit from this group, but it feels strange to be there. I'm the youngest member and the most recently widowed. But I guess grief is grief and does not discriminate against age or timeline. I wonder what my life will look like when the class ends in 13 weeks?
One of the most encouraging tidbits offered tonight? Journaling your way through grief is proven to be one of the most effective ways to process and work through it. Looks like I may have a head start there through this blog. Fingers crossed.