We have returned again from another wonderful bereavement Weekend at Camp Sunshine.
Perhaps the words “wonderful” and “bereavement” seem odd words to put together, but as I said in my post last year, Camps Sunshine is a very special place for families that are living their new lives without their precious children. This year there were only three families that were at their first session of a bereavement weekend. There were a few that had gone in November for the first time, so I was just meeting them, and some that were there last year who I just hadn’t had a chance to get to know.
Some of the new families were there in hopes of hearing when it will get “better and easier”. Sadly, they heard the truth – it doesn’t get better or easier, just DIFFERENT! We are 2 years into our grief journey – and it is just that a journey. Grief is not something you get OVER, but you get THROUGH. There are some families that are many years into their journey. Now, there living children are reaching new milestones – heading off to college, starting grades in school that their children that have died never got to go to. It often brings up a whole new phase of grief!
I know that just when I think I am doing “better” something hits me in a way, and I come crashing down again. The lows are much shorter times now, and it does take me less time to get back “up”.
Spending time with people that “get it” is wonderful. I can talk about Alexander, his treatment, his death, how life is without him, without worrying that I might be upsetting someone. It is a very comfortable place to be. It is interesting how different everyone’s story is. One family had only 4 months with their child from the diagnosis to death. Another family, were told their child would be gone within a matter of months, and she outlived the “predictions” by 9 YEARS! Some, of the children had battles that lasted for years, some were like Alexander and were very short (Alexander was only 13 months). But no matter how long or short the battle was – and it is just that a battle, we all have a common thread in our lives.
So once again – I have some new friends that I wish I never knew, but I am so glad that I have met to help me through this phase of the STUPID CANCER journey!