I spent every day at hospice for nearly three months.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been away for nearly that long.
I have to admit that it was strange to drive there again, a familiar route. I was on auto-pilot.
Earlier today, I had my first talk session with our counselor at hospice.
She usually comes to our house to talk with the kids, and it never works out for us to talk alone without the girls interrupting.
We talked for about an hour, I released some tears and frustrations.
I signed up for group therapy later this month. The girls and I will go once a week; some time for them with other kids who have suffered loss – and time for me to be with other adults who have suffered, too.
I think it will be good for all of us.
After talking, the counselor asked if I wanted to go next door to the Hospice Home.
I knew I would. I even stopped on the way to pick up donuts for my friends, the staff, there.
I have missed them all so much. I’ve missed bringing in treats for them!
Walking through the doors of the Hospice Home was a surreal experience.
It smelled like I remembered.
It felt like I remembered.
It was just as I had remembered.
Only, I wasn’t there to see Chad this time.
I was there for me.
I saw familiar faces at the sign-in desk.
And then again at the nurse’s station.
And I saw the doorway to Chad’s room.
I didn’t go any further than the nurse’s station – that particular room was being cleaned, so I’m certain a new patient now resides there.
To me, and to them, it will always be Chad’s room.
I hugged, laughed & chatted with my friends.
Because they are all my friends – they embraced our family and I could not thank them enough for that.
Since dispersing Chad’s ashes last weekend, I have felt peaceful.
I have laughed more this week than I have in the last three months.
I haven’t felt the sense of dread and confusion nearly as heavily this week, either.
It’s progress, or at least that’s what I”m going to call it.
Going back – it was something I knew I would do. Eventually.
That place, those people, those feelings – I knew I would revisit them all.
I just wasn’t ready until very recently.
My time at hospice during Chad’s stay really opened my eyes.
To what’s important.
To what’s essential.
To what’s good in a time in our lives that wasn’t good.
The staff was able to give me part of my life back, my life as a wife and a mother.
I know, now, what I am supposed to be doing – and I had to let them know they had all inspired me to make a change in my life that will help me, but more importantly, help others.
In the Fall, I am going back to school.
At least, that’s the plan.
Today, I left with happy tears, with promises to return, and an application to volunteer.
Going back – I will be.