I was asked to be a guest on a show called Health Link by a local TV anchor, Benita Zahn. I had to think on it for a bit before I agreed. I wasn't sure I was an appropriate guest. I'm certainly no expert on grief, which was the topic. I'm fairly new to grieving. I'd much prefer to be on her show for another reason although I don't know what that topic would be either. I just know I would have preferred to discuss something other than my son's passing.
Benita was very easy to be around. Her energy was positive, she was genuine and compassionate. She told us the half an hour show would be the fastest thirty minutes of our lives, it was. It zipped past so quickly I felt as though I didn't say even the tiniest portion of what was on my mind. Get me on my soap box about my kids and forget it... I can go on like any other mother!
If you had a chance to see it I think you would have found it informative. She had three other guests on the show with a collective wealth of information about dealing with death, the grieving process and where to turn for help. Here's the link to the show in case you haven't seen it and you have a spare 30 minutes. It will be rebroadcast on channel 17, WMHT, this Sunday at 10:30am.
Regarding grief, I came to realize a few things as I maneuvered my way through Christopher's. I learned about some things I will and won't do when it comes time for me to reach out to another who suffers a tragedy.
I will deliver soup three or four weeks later like my neighbor did. It hit the spot on a day when I had no idea what was for dinner and I didn't have the energy to think about it. Thank you Lorelei and Rick! My stomach didn't handle much after Chris passed and what I could get down couldn't be a heavy meal. I ate a lot of toast because it's gentle and filling. I still do. I mentioned to a few people that I've never been on such a rapid weight loss program... I don't recommend it. The soup my neighbor brought was considerate and kind and appreciated! I will remember to do that.
What else will I do? Bring kleenex, toilet paper, paper plates and bottled water. Why? Well, speaking only for myself... the house was a revolving door for two weeks and the grocery store was not on my agenda. I ran out of these things and for some reason told myself to remember it if ever I was in a position to help someone else I would bring a gift basket of paper goods.
I won't hand write a condolence card with the word "tragedy", "heartsick" or "devastated" in it. There's no need for such words when the recipient is already down. I'll stick with something simple like "I'm sorry" or "I'm here for you". I have never received a condolence card before and boy did I get stacks! They showed up by the mailbox full the first two weeks. I'm grateful, please don't get me wrong, but there were so many that I got a good feel for the ones that I liked (if there is such a thing as "liking" a condolence card?) and the ones I couldn't finish reading. I didn't need to know the specifics of where you were when you heard the news... at least I didn't need to know it the first week my son died.I would like to hear about it now... two months later when I can think a bit more clearly so I'm going to go back and re-read all the cards and notes that were sent. I know I will appreciate them so much more I just know it. I'm sharing what my first impression was to this new experience. I hope I don't offend anyone. I feel it's something I wished I knew before Chris passed. It would have been helpful if a crisis struck and I needed to write a note or reach out to someone.
I'm surprised I felt like I could have talked on and on with Benita. I wasn't sure I'd have a sentence to say to her. I guess I do have some thoughts and information to pass along. I hope to never be considered a professional in that department but I am glad that I was able to share some things that might be beneficial to others down the road. Thanks Benita for the invitation to be on your show.
Thank you for reading.