Last night we had just finished supper (a lovely chicken noodle soup and bread, with pears in ginger); Katie and Takara were cleaning up. David was out helping haul hot water from the hot water well. I was sitting doing some crewel when a young woman came in by herself.
I asked her, as I often do, how her day had been and if she was enjoying the Fair. She stood there and her eyes welled up and she said she was not doing very well. Her closest friend had died in March and this was her first fair without her friend.
I encouraged her to sit beside me and we talked for a very long time (half an hour, at least). It seems that she had not been allowed to properly grieve by her relatives and the relatives of her friend. She had forced herself to come to the Fair, but Heritage Square had been their favorite place to be and it was nearly impossible, from her words and actions, to continue on to see the other places they had been.
I gave her some examples of how I felt and grew from my sister Cara’s death. She told me that the night of her friend’s funeral, she felt her friend in the room with her and heard the friend singing a soothing, lullaby type of song that said, in so many words, that Mary (grieving friend) would be all right and Ruth (departed friend) was fine and happy.
Mary was unhappy because she could not talk to Ruth anymore .. I told her to sit in a quiet place and talk to Ruth, then sit and listen; she would hear the answers in her heart.
She held my hand and cried; she would start to get up, then grab my hand, hold it and cry and talk some more.
Roger came in, sat down and played the banjo, so we had music in the background. We had people coming through, but David was in the cabin, so he could talk to them and I could pay strict attention to Mary. She needed to talk to someone about her friend and how she felt and she needed to cry.
I told her that she needed to take a second step (the first was to come to the Fair); she needed to go somewhere else that she and Ruth had gone
It seemed like she couldn’t leave, but she finally did walk out the door and said she was going to try to go to some other places that she and her friend went.
It was quite an experience; one I’ve never really had to do before … be a grief counselor. But I did say that I felt that Ruth was with her as she went around the fair and that she was in Mary’s heart, so she was never truly gone. This is what I feel about my sister, Cara, and this is what I feel about anyone who has passed. They never leave us, truly, if we can keep them alive in our hearts.
I hope Mary has a beautiful day tomorrow; you have a beautiful day.