A year ago exactly I was seeing a counselor to help me through Shayna’s passing. Hospice of Cincinnati offers free grief support and I knew I needed to see someone who specialized in grief, not a general counselor. The guy I saw there, Alan Gruber was very helpful. At the time I didn’t know there were various models of coping with grief, but I was discovering on my own the continuing bonds model. I had no words for it at the time, but as I shared with Alan what my beliefs were and what was helping me, he was open to it. Now, one year later Tywana and I are starting our own grief support group. We are looking for places where people might find us and thought of Hospice of Cincinnati and the funeral home that handled Shayna’s services.
Today I call Alan up and explain to him what we are trying to do. He’s very supportive and agrees to allow me to drop off some brochures he can give to his patients. We start meeting a month from today. As I drive over to the place and walk in I flash back to a year ago. I remember driving over there on a beautiful sunny summer day and being grief stricken and guilty that I was out enjoying the sunshine and the songs on the radio while Shayna could not. I remember driving past the Taco Bell on the way home, the one that just Shayna I would go to because Tywana and Kayla didn’t like it. I remember bursting into uncontrollable tears as I passed it. All of that exactly one year ago. But, I remember it like it was yesterday. Summer has cycled back around again. It’s July again. It’s hot again. I pass the Taco Bell again. Superficially, it seems the same, but it’s not the same.
Today I don’t feel bad that Shayna isn’t here to enjoy the sun or the music or even Taco Bell. I have a better handle on where she is. She’s missing nothing. Even though I know it’s beyond the grasp of my little brain, I am confident that where she is real and solid and not just a fairy tale I’m telling myself to make myself feel better. I’ve examined another year’s worth of evidence, as much as I could cram in in that time. I’ve gone from hoping, to believing to knowing. That’s given me a firm foundation to deal with this from. I take the same road to hospice. i’m listening to music again. It’s sunny and hot again. But, this time I’m not going to get help. I’m going to see if I can find people who I can help with what I’ve learned.