This coming week-end our church is hosting a women's retreat. Last year I was supposed to make a presentation, but had to cancel because Musical Friend's husband died. This year I offered to try again, since what I had to offer the first time can be re-tailored to fit almost any theme. Other than making the offer and having had it accepted, I haven't participated in the planning.
The theme, as it turns out, is Reconciliation - with self, with others, with God.
W-A-Y too soon for any of that.
* * * * *
I realize that I am feeling a bit resentful. Isolated. Neglected. Sorry for myself.
Our pastor mentioned in last week's sermon (which I read online) that she is doing some reading about grief work. I hate that term, "grief work." My "grief counselor" uses it, too. I think I hate it because it makes it sound as if the journey of grief is a project, something that you could pick up from time to time to work on, like gardening, or a legal brief, instead of the all-enveloping haze that you have to re-negotiate minute by minute.
At any rate, I think that she is doing the reading because she has recently spent a considerable amount of time with a family that has just lost a young child. I wish she had done it six months ago.
Maybe then she would have known that seven months out would be way too early to broach a term like "reconciliation."
* * * * *
Was it my job to be the educator? Our pastors were wonderful ~ spectacular, even ~ in the week after our son died, when there was so much to be done, so suddenly, and in such crisis circumstances. But I had the sense that the long-term process of grieving was not in their realm of expertise.
It was just a matter of intuition.
I suppose that I shouldn't use the word "just" as as modifier. After all, on the Meyers-Briggs, I am 100% intuitive. Not an ounce of concrete affects my approach to life. (Yeah, I'm working on that.)
The thing is, I think I was right.
* * * * *
They keep preaching on the wisdom that emerges from suffering. (Which is why I've been reading sermons online rather than going to church.)
I asked a friend last week, a woman who lost a child many years ago, whether she thinks her experience added to her store of wisdom.
"No," she said.
One would like to think that one might find wisdom, grace, perseverance, courage, in such circumstances.
Perhaps, eventually, such things emerge. Who knows?
No one who understands the cost would want them.