I wake up in a funk today. There are just those days when I wake up like this. Nothing in particular has happened. I’m tired (emotionally) every morning. But, physically, I’m ready to get up and get into the things I need to get done. Today, I sleep in until nearly 8 o’clock. I decide I have too much to do to get my walk in. Today is the Helping Parents Heal meeting at 7. There’s church at 11. IANDS meets at 1:30. And, I’ve committed to a couple of things for SoulPhone and Helping Parents Heal Online that I want to get done before the weekend is over and I’m back at Treasured Locks. The walk will have to wait. If I don’t get this stuff done before church it’s not going to happen and I need my meditation time. There are days when I don’t want to be here and there are days when I really don’t want to be here. This is the latter. I’m living to work, living for others. Some days I don’t want to even one more day of this.
I come downstairs, make some coffee and start working on the things for HPH and SoulPhone. I knock out some tasks for the AREI Symposium (which have also been given to me) and I start to work on HPH/SoulPhone. The documentation for this sucks and the way our Google accounts are set up make it impossible for me to complete the task the way it should be done. After about an hour I give up. I head upstairs to get my meditation in before church. I really don’t feel like going to church today, but we missed last week. Also, Tywana’s volunteering in the nursery today (which means I’ll be in church by myself). I walk in. The first song has already begun. We’re late. All these shiny happy faces. It’s a beautiful summer day. It’s not hot. The humidity is low. Kathy’s back from a two week sabbatical, so she’s even more energetic than normal. And I’m standing here “Bah humbug”. I can’t do the happy face thing this morning. So, as they’re singing “I am the Love. We are the Love…” instead of making eye contact I stare out the window. It’s like it was when I first started coming here two years ago. They’re all so happy and all I can think about it what I’ve lost. What is there to be so happy about?
Church is over. We head home for a quick lunch before i head off to IANDS. I could skip IANDS, but it’s the one thing on my agenda today that’s for me. I find that I crave the IANDS meetings. I need to sit face-to-face in a room full of people who know the greater reality, who have seen and touched it. At the meeting, the hard of hearing guy, as always, sits precisely opposite from the co-leader of the group who has one of the softest voices I’ve ever heard. During the opening meditation he asks her to speak up (which he does frequently). It’s all I can to do keep from saying “Get up and move closer to her!” I really want to tell him to get some hearing aids. The old patience isn’t there today. A couple of people share their stories. One lady had an spontaneous OBE like I’ve never heard before in all of the hundreds of stories I’ve read. Another shares an amazing experience where she and her son miraculously survived a 350 foot fall into a lake. He wasn’t hurt at all. She recovered from her injuries miraculously. Then, a guy starts talking about survivor’s guilt. He was in a situation where a buddy was killed and he walked away. 40 plus years later it’s still bothering him as to why his buddy was taken and he wasn’t. I’m incredulous. This guy has been coming to the meetings at least as long as I have, over a year. I remind myself we’re not supposed to correct people or offer advice, yada, yada, yada, but I have to speak up. I’m trying to be respectful, but this is really simple stuff. I say “It just wasn’t your time. We all have a plan. Your friends plan was to ‘die’ that day. Your plan was to not. Survivor’s guilt is common. Many, many people go through it. But, those are people who think the other person died.” I wave my hand around pointing to those in the room. “We in this room, know there is no death. Your buddy didn’t ‘die’ that day. He simply slipped out of his body. We know we who are left behind are the ones who suffer. Why should we feel guilt over that?” I’d trade places with his buddy in a heart beat.
Honestly, after Shayna crossed, my survivor’s guilt was almost non-existent. A couple of times I wish she could have learned to drive or gone to prom or graduation, but I know that what she is experience makes all of that pale in comparison. I don’t need to feel guilty and I don’t. I hope the words I spoke helped someone in that room to get over the silly notion we need to carry any guilt about continuing on after someone has passed. We have enough to worry about and feel bad about. No need to add that.
So, IANDS is over and I have a couple of hours until the HPH meeting. We decide to have baked potatoes for dinner. These massive potatoes we buy from Costco can take over an hour to bake since I like to bake them slowly and to exactly 212º. We get them started. But, around 5:45 we realize we got them started too late for them to finish and for us to be able to eat and make it to the meeting by 6:45 for the 7:00 start. I take mine out of the oven and put it in the microwave. I slam it down trying not to burn my mouth. But, I’m thinking “Why are we rushing to get to the meeting? No one is going to be there.” Next month will be one year we’ve been having the meetings. I think we’ve had more meetings with zero attendees than we’ve had meetings with people. Tywana and I want to hold this space, but it’s beginning to feel like standing there holding a door open that no one wants to walk through. Last month no one showed up. We have several people that we communicate regularly who say they are coming back, but every month they have an excuse. It’s not my job to force people through the door, to guilt them into coming. My job is to be there in case anyone decides to come. We’ve done flyers, business cards, contacted chaplains at local hospitals, contacted the director of the funeral home that we used, been on local radio, sent out press releases, asked the church to put us in the bulletin and to announce the meetings. We have done our jobs.
We get to the space a few minutes till 7. There’s a bunch of stuff on the table in the room where we meet. Tywana starts to clear it. I call her off. Let’s wait and see if anyone comes before we move anything. The women I’m in contact with on Facebook haven’t said they are coming. People weren’t coming in the winter when it was dark and cold. We thought they might come in the summer. Now that’s it’s summer, they’re not coming because the weather is nice and they’re out doing other things. I’m tired of trying to figure it out.
Normally, we wait around until 7:30 or 7:45 before we pack up. Today, I don’t have the patience. I call it at 7:20. We pack up and head back home to have some me time with the rest of the day.