a new tradition?
This morning ian, shiya and I went to the Center for Grief, Loss and Transition in St. Paul, MN. Â They had an open house from 10am-noon. Â The Center is in an old house and feels more like a home than anything else. Â There are plants, art, a kitchen, couches, music and books…
ian had mentioned it to me yesterday and it wasn’t until I woke up this morning that I decided that I might want to go. Â and it’s not even so much that I wanted to go there, but that I wanted toÂ acknowledgeÂ how much I miss and love Ayrie, and I wanted to do something that made it feel different than the 35 thanksgivings that have come before.
i told shiya that I was going somewhere that was for people who were sad because someone they loved had died.
He asked, “Like Ayrie?”
“Yes, sweetie.” I told him. Â Emily offered to keep him home with her while Ian and I went but Shiya really wanted to go with us.
There were only a few people at the open house… five besides us… but it was wonderful. Â The people were open and warm… not bitter or angry as I had feared. Â There was one other couple there who had lost aÂ daughterÂ and they were further along in their journey, but on a similar path with their readings and discoveries. Â The facilitator/counselor was so attentive to shiya. Â She read all of the book Tear Soup. Â We had cookies and tea and just talked. Â Not about anything in particular or with any visible structure… but just talked. Â When Shiya got restless their pulled out crayons and paper. Â It felt right to be there.
When we got home Emily asked Shiya where he had just gone and he told her happily, “Somewhere to miss Ayrie.”
Later when Shiya and I were laying down together (nap didn’t happen today) I told him about Thanksgiving being a day to reflect on what we are grateful for. Â I asked if he wanted to say thank you for anything and he said “Yes, for Ayrie.” Â It was completely unprompted and caught be by surprise. Â And I feel the same. Â There are a thousand or more things I am grateful for. Â The hugs, the cards, the meals, the groceries, the donations, the listening ears, the flowers, the facebook support, the writing people have shared…. but for more than any of that I am grateful that Ayrie chose me to be his mother and thankful for the 4 years I had with him.
I am not celebrating Thanksgiving this year. Â As I sit here and type this Emily, Ian, and Shiya are upstairs with Ian’s family and I can hear their foot steps and chatter. Â I am going to read, write, and maybe go to a movie. Â But I wish all of you a happy and healthy thanksgiving.