Our new support group room, located at Heritage Collectibles, Books & Maps, is almost finished! There’s still more I want to do with it, but the space is completely usable now…. and it’s looking better all the time. The atmosphere is warm and comfy, the coffee pot is usually on – and we always have cookies available! (Who doesn’t love cookies?)
For several reasons I was thinking of calling it the John Kelly Snyder group room (Heritage Books & Maps was John’s baby, and tragically, the impetus for this support group space was John’s suicide almost two years ago), but Johnny didn’t do “touchy feely” groups.
So a much better thought is to call it The Lifeboat Room. That would honor John, and reference his decades of work installing and repairing survival systems on Navy ships – and would be appropriate for the plans for the space.
I hope to eventually hang the artwork, poetry, collages, etc that group members create as part of their healing process.
As I was thinking about the room’s name and the work John did as a subcontractor for the Navy – work he was considered extraordinarily good at, and which he loved – it brought to mind something that always bothered me, and which I’ve probably mentioned at some point in one of my blogs. Despite his pride in his work, Johnny believed that my work in mental health was more important than his, because he “helped build killing machines” (Navy ships) and I “helped save lives”.
Yet, we were both in the business of developing and maintaining survival systems…. me, on a more individual level, and John, for thousands of sailors.
In fact, when the U.S.S. Cole was bombed on 12 October 2000, John was instrumental in helping the sailors on that ship repair those survival systems, via a satellite relay. One of the proudest moments of his life was when he later ran into two sailors who praised and thanked him for his efforts in helping them through the process of making those repairs from half way across the world.
No one of course knew that 16 years and just over a week later, John himself would be dead from an enemy he could not vanquish.
The Lifeboat Room.
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).