On Monday, July 22, 2013, three weeks after Dick's death, and with tears coursing down my cheeks many of my waking hours, I knew I should go to the hospice bereavement group for help. I forced myself to get ready, to leave the apartment, to get into the car—and then, just sat there.
It's only a few miles. Get going.
I forgot to write down the address. I'll go next time.
Just watch for the hotel sign.
I'll go, but if I drive by it, I'll just come back home.
By telling myself I could change my mind at any time, my hands and feet coordinated to take me into a parking space outside the hotel where the group met. Weeping, I just sat there until able to muster courage to exit and lock the car. I preoccupied myself with making certain I had taken the keys with me—having lost keys and forgotten to turn off the car lights in the last few weeks—and found myself in the lobby.
Doubting I would actually attend the meeting, I sat down and pretended interest in a Field and Stream magazine.
Perhaps my anxiety telegraphed to the young woman behind the counter. She walked over and sat beside me. "Can I help you, Ma'am?"
"Ah, I'm just checking out the bereavement group that meets tonight."
"Oh, but they don't meet tonight . . ."
"Yes, they do," I argued. "They meet on Monday nights. I looked it up on the hospice site." All of a sudden, I wanted--desperately needed—to attend that meeting.
"I'm so sorry, but they meet only the first and third Monday nights. This is the fourth Monday."
I gasped. "But . . . but . . ."
She put up her hand, hesitated, and then added, "There are five Mondays this month. The next meeting is two weeks from now on August fifth."
I burst into tears and stumbled outdoors. Grateful I had not locked the keys in the car, I opened the door and, shaking like a leaf in a windstorm, fell into the seat and sobbed.
* * * *
Those who grieve often do not react in a logical manner. Their feelings can shift from moment to moment.