June 14, 2011

What does it mean . . .

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 9:26 pm by letterstoelias

Ah, my poor, neglected blog.  I ‘think’ about writing here daily.  I plan to quite often, but I just don’t know where the time/energy/effort has gone these days.  I started writing a mammoth sized post about the 2yr mark, but wonder if there’s much point since I’m almost 2 months past it now???  There has been SO much going on these days that I’d love to write about, so maybe I’ll just have to catch up in little bits and pieces.

For now, however.  I wanted to write about something specific.  Camp Widow.  Yes, there is an opportunity to win registration fees if this gets posted tonight.  I had initially decided against entering, as I felt there were many other people who probably needed it more than I.  I still feel this way, but I also feel that writing about Camp may encourage others who were on the fence about going, make their decision to go.  I also realize that, though I have been before, there is no doubt I would benefit in going once again.  I have been considering it for some time, and winning the entry fees or not, I hope to find a way to make it work.

It would be easy enough to just refer to my ‘recap’ post from last year to explain how great Camp Widow is, but it is so much more.  Difficult to put into words, but, what does it mean?

I have supportive parents.  They do a great deal to help me out, day in and day out.  They miss Elias and loved him like a son.  I have a sister who, though doesn’t live here, knows what it is to listen well and just accepts the hard stuff without trying to offer a ‘fix’ all the time.  I have a best friend who flew across the country when Elias died, took care of the girls and I for over a week, and is always there by phone when need be.  I have couple of friends here who have gone above and beyond helping with a giant list of things too great to name, but in particular, the girls.  My cousins, aunts, uncles are wonderful and have come out to support me in the past 2yrs in many ways.  I talk with Elias’ brothers across the world, who when I talk to them, give me little pieces of the brother they love and miss so much too.

But, when I look around.  When I’m at the playground with the girls.  On the ferry.  In the grocery store.  Even surrounded by family or friends – I am alone.  I don’t have a ‘place’ in my surroundings, where I fit in.  No one in my family is widowed, not even my grandparents (well, I guess there is a second aunt on one side, that I used to only see once a year – now more like once every 2-3yrs and don’t really know that well . . . does that count?).  Certainly none of my friends are widowed, not even divorced (though we all know that’s not the same anyhow – but it means I don’t have any ‘single’ friends either).  There are a ‘couple’ people I know with some close proximity who are widowed, you can just look them in the eye without having to hardly say a word – there is that silent understanding – but aside from the girls dance teacher, they are not people I see often.

School functions, family gatherings, community outings – I’m surrounded by loving, happy, whole families (I know that’s not the entire story – there is much going on in the life of strangers that I am unaware of, I am strictly referring to what I ‘see’ and what I know of the families around me).  It’s difficult to explain to those I love, standing right next to me, how hard it still can be, and how lonely it feels.

There is often a lot of talk about people who ‘get it’ and people who don’t.  I am absolutely happy that none of my loved ones ‘get it’.  I wish they never would find out, though since death comes to all of us eventually, I know they will at some point.  I’m not overly thrilled when people say ‘the wrong thing’, but I also understand.  I’m sure at some points I’ve done the same, and part of me wishes I could go back to that wonderful ignorance.  But I can’t.  Elias is gone, so I ‘get it’.

And, so does everyone at Camp Widow.

A place where, unfortunately, EVERYONE ‘gets it’.  But, you aren’t alone.  You no longer stick out like a sore thumb with a giant ‘W’ on your chest.  You are wrapped up in a warm blanket.  You are surrounded by people who don’t hush when you come in a room.  People who don’t look at you, with that terribly uncomfortable look.  People who don’t think ‘thank God it’s not me’.  Sadly, it is them too.  But that’s how we help each other.  Our losses may be different.  Our relationships different.  Our choices in handling grief different – but we have all ‘been there’.

I hate that there is anyone else who has to know this pain, but it sure helps to feel less alone in it.  And, how uplifting to see where some have taken their lives after suffering the same, devastating loss.  Nothing short of inspiring.

It’s a short period of time to share with everyone, and I wish it could be longer or that I could bring people home with me (I’m still trying to convince Sarah to marry me and move to Canada=), but it’s a feeling that lasts and helps through the tougher times at home, when you are alone.

I have made some incredible, life long friendships through the loss of my Love, Elias.  Friends I would never have made otherwise (but people I know I would have loved if I had met them under other circumstances anyhow).  Friends who, to this day, are there when I need them to listen and understand, and I try to do the same for them.  Being able to give these friends a hug in real life is worth the trip to San Diego.  Laughing freely.  Crying freely.  Sharing freely.  It’s beyond words.

I do hope to go again this year.  I’m definitely working on making it a reality.  I hope to see you there!

~C~

P.S.  I Love You

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2 Comments »

  1. Greggies Widow said,

    Love this. Tears.

    Again wonderfully written and explaining things.

    Hope it works out to where we can both go. I’d love to meet you in person and chat and get a real life hug.
    While I wish you never knew this journey and Elias was still here; I’m very thankful for your friendship. You are such an inspiration to so many.

    Hugs and love,
    B

    • Dan said,

      I found myself nodding in recognition of all you describe. I hope to see you there.

      Love. Dan


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