I have been in various group settings over the last couple weeks. Interestingly, I have found that some interactions sit okay with me, and others do not. It has caused me to reflect on what might be the dynamics that trigger my various emotions.
When my life is filled with such deep pain, it is nice to be around people who know our circumstance, and are aware of our significant loss. It is even nicer to be around people who knew Judson and have been walking this journey with us. When I am in a group of people and many do not know our family, and are unaware of our gaping wound, it is hard for me to engage. There is a level of safety that is missing.
On the flipside, when I am in a group of people who are aware of our Judson’s suffering and death, but our ever-present grief goes unacknowledged, without even so much as a knowing or understanding look from anyone, I find it to be particularly painful. It feels as though the expectation is that we are “over-it” now, and life is back to normal. This causes me to want to retreat altogether.
Thankfully, there have been other group interactions in which I have felt such love, understanding, and concern, that it provides the security necessary to move toward “normalcy.” I have found in these situations, that I feel most healthy.
However, truth be told, it does not matter what type of group dynamic I might experience on a particular day, healthy or not, when I get in the car to go home, almost every time, without fail, I wind up in tears. My emotions tend to flow in the oasis of my car.