Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Griever as counselor

In the recent past (and present) I've found myself among friends who are grieving. I care deeply for these friends and grieve with them from my own perspective. I grieve over their grief and face my own grief over the situation.

If someone close to a friend dies, I grieve for my friend's loss. I feel sad, angry, etc, that my friend has to face the loss. I also grieve my own loss, remembering the person who died as I knew them through my friend.

I've come to realize that when I go to a grieving friend, I go from my perspective as a griever. "I can't believe this is happening. I'm shocked." "I'm so sorry for your loss - do you remember that time when I was there with your mom and she said 'such and such' to me?" I end up working through my own grief in the presence of one who is grieving so much more. The "main griever" ends up being my counselor. How backward is that?

In a current grieving situation of a close friend, I'm trying to consciously help her process her grief while leaving mine for other people. I think it's a good start and I hope it helps me to be a better friend to leave my own processing on the shoulders of other friends around the situation and sometimes those entirely outside of the situation.

I also hope that when I am in a situation of grief and the people around me come to support me that I will better understand that they will be coming from their own perspective and may need to bring me their grief as a way to process it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Harry Potter Summer

This summer I read the Harry Potter series. I hadn't read them until now because I don't generally care for the science fiction or fantasy genres of stories. Plus there was the way that "everyone" was "always" talking about Harry Potter This and Harry Potter That. I think that God was secretly keeping me away from the books so that I wouldn't have to wait between reading them. I timed them perfectly... I started the first one just as the last one was released to the public. My biggest problem at that point was trying not to hear any news of the plot of the last book, or even what characters were still around. While it's not hard to surprise me, my enjoyment of a story is pretty much ruined once I know what's going to happen.

I liked the series a lot and even found myself noticing that the author had a good way of writing. That's the way English majors describe good literature, no?

If you haven't read the books yet, I suggest giving the first one a try. You won't lose out on anything by trying it but you might find yourself happily sucked into the story on page 2 the way that I did - kinda like falling into a pensieve.

Mama, it doesn't matter

I'm sometimes a bit of a control freak. I fretted over Kevin's lunch items when he started kindergarten because he can't open most of our plastic containers. Before purchasing some that he can open, I accidentally packed him regular containers one day without thinking about it. Then I worried because if I'd been unable to open my lunch items, I would've just put them back in my Pigs In Space lunchbox and not eaten. Kevin, on the other hand, asked the lunch room monitor for help. Huh, how about that?

The second day of school, he asked to buy lunch. In all my years of school, I never bought my lunch. And I haven't seen how Kevin's school does it, so I didn't know how to tell him to proceed. I agreed to let him buy lunch after all but tried to explain how it might work.

"You probably have to pick up a tray and then tell the person behind the counter-" Kevin interrupted me to inform me, "they're lunch ladies." I wasn't sure that was a politically correct label but I guess it is. I continued, "You'll have to tell the lunch lady what you want to eat - tell her cheese pizza. Then you need to pick out a fruit-" He asked, "Will they make me?" I said, "No, but I will. So you have your tray and your pizza and your fruit and then you can pick your milk. Hmm... Maybe the milk is at the beginning of the line. Well, either get your milk at the beginning or the end, I'm sorry, I just don't know."

Kevin replied nonchalantly, "It doesn't matter," as if he had some inkling of the earthquake of uncertainty in my soul, and he grabbed his backpack and bounced out of the house.