The following is a message I just sent to the members of the Lewiston Auburn Grief Support MeetUp Group:
My sincerest apologies for not communicating with you all recently… there’s been so much going on…
My social work job was nuts for a couple of months. We didn’t have enough staff, so I was doing an absurd amount of overtime, at the exact same time as I needed to clear out our space at 5 Park Street (it was storage only for the antiques shop Johnny & I had started before he died, but it was costing me money I just couldn’t afford).
And I was also preparing to head to Los Angeles for three weeks, just as I did last fall, to visit my daughter, son-in-law and baby grandson!
Something had to give and unfortunately it was this group (as well as a few other things on my plate).
Today, I’m in California, enjoying the weather (even though it’s too hot for me). Someone in Auburn earlier this morning told me it was just 20 degrees there in Maine. It’s a good thing I didn’t turn off the heat in my house before leaving town!
It seems that no matter how busy I am, or where I am, I can’t get away from grieving my husband. The 21st of this month will mark 18 months since John suicided, yet I still ache.
This morning, I got a call from one of our banks, where Johnny had set up savings accounts for our grandchildren.
The nice lady there told me that strictly speaking, his name was supposed to be taken off the accounts because he’s deceased. I told her I couldn’t do it… and burst into tears. (Three of those accounts are for his grandchildren, the children of his three kids.)
The bank lady said she absolutely understood, and had had a similar conversation with someone else recently.
How we grieve is so individual. I know people who immediately throw out or give away everything of the deceased (ugh; that term just doesn’t describe the emotions involved). Others, like me, don’t change a thing. John’s toothbrush is still in the same place beside mine, as is practically everything else he owned.
Johnny was not perfect, and I know that better than almost anyone. But he was bigger than life, brilliant, and had a heart larger than the whole wide outdoors that he loved almost as much as he loved me. He will be honored for the rest of my life.
Anyway, as I mentioned, I’m now in Los Angeles visiting through the end of April. Therefore, group won’t meet again until the first Tuesday in May, on the 1st, from 6:00-7:30 pm. Hope to see you then!
Also, if anyone is interested in a morning group, please let me know. Now that I’m not pulling a stupid number of hours at work, I can make available any time after about 6:00 am, and until about noon.
Don’t forget, we have a website at https://warrior-project.org, as well as a Facebook page and a Facebook group (both under the name of The Grief Warrior Project), and a Twitter account @warriorprojME. I’d love to have submissions, thoughts or whatever to any of these.
Take good care,
In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.
My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see. I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.
The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those military personnel wounded after September 11, 20o1. Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.
Fair winds and following seas, Husband.
We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground. You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/
Follow us on Twitter! @WarriorProjME.
We’re also on MeetUp; search Lewiston Grief Support MeetUp.
Help support The Grief Warrior Project by making purchases from Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps. All profits (after expenses) go to helping keep our doors open. You can find Heritage Collectibles at https://heritagecollectiblesmaine.com, on Facebook (both a group and a page) and on Twitter (HeritageGifts).