So I'm here in San Diego visiting Scott's parents and also attending a conference called "Camp Widow". I don't even know where to start on how overwhelming this whole weekend has been so far. Overwhelmed by love and support. Scott's family has not only kept in touch with me, they've still considered me family which blows me away! I keep waiting for them to disappear. We didn't have kids so I didn't expect them to want to maintain that connection but they have. It's been so nice to visit with them, catch up and get to know my youngest brother in law better. We all watched the final game in the World cup Sunday and it was the best. Hilarious. The announcers were so funny and we just made jokes and cringed along with the players as they were beat up and tired from playing for 120+ minutes! Memories I will treasure forever, just spending time with the people Scott loved so dearly.
And then there's Camp Widow. What can I say to do it justice? First of all, any type of grief counselor needs to take one of the classes here!!!! I cannot emphasize that enough. I literally have been made to feel that at 15 months after Scott has died that I am now somehow too wrapped up in my grief and that it must at this point be a character flaw in my personality that I am holding onto the grief. There are men and women here that are 2,3,4 and 9, 10, 11 on up years "out" that still grieve their deceased spouses. Overwhelmingly everyone past 2 years has said that the second year is harder than the first (not easy to hear when I haven't gotten there yet!). And everyone, EVERYONE, says you never stop loving and grieving your husband. Yes, life goes on. And, if you are blessed with new love it is not a betrayal of your first, it's ADDING love onto love. And that you are going to be sad but that is not who you are. You are going to be tired and fatigued because grief is exhausting - in the back of your mind at all times there is drum beating to the beat of grief. And blocking it out to function in every day life is exhausting. So, being tired and fatigued, unmotivated, does not mean you're lazy. There are so many things I heard yesterday and today that I NEEDED TO HEAR. That for crap's sake! I'm not crazy, lazy or character flawed. I love my husband. And he's dead and I lost my future that I so wanted and that equals a lot of pain and I am allowed to say it SUCKS! Death sucks.
I could really go on and on. But, bottom line I am so glad I came. I am so blessed to still have Scott's family in my life. I am so blessed by my Mom who I know has been lifting me up in prayer. I am so blessed by the conference and all the brave, beautiful men and women who came together in hope and support this weekend. It sounds crazy since I have never met any of them before yesterday but they all, all of them, felt familiar, looked familiar. We share an experience that has changed each and every one of us to the core. Each one had the bottom drop out and felt like we wished we died the same day our spouses did but somehow lived on.