Well, Labor Day has come and gone and as my mom always says, summer is now unofficially over. As the days begin to shorten and fall approaches, I always reflect how time seems to keep its own schedule, regardless of what may be going on in our lives or the greater community. To those navigating loss, this can be comforting or disheartening, or sometimes both. In our highlight this month, I share some thoughts on this topic.
With Autumn officially starting on the 22nd of this month, we are beginning to shift our attention to the many exciting Kara events coming up over the next few months in service to our community. We are in full preparation mode for our 12th annual Walk’n’Run to Remember, happening Saturday, October 14th at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto. Please join us for this special day and be sure to check out our Fundraising Teams, which are increasing daily. We are also excited to share that once again the E F Harris Family Foundation has generously pledged to match every single dollar given in support of the Walk – up to $15,000! Read on for more updates including our next Caregivers Forum, September 19th, dates for our Compassion Cultivation Training starting this September 26th and our ongoing support groups.
We appreciate all the ways in which you help us bring Care, Compassion, Connection and Community to the bereaved.
Time Can Be A Friend
An often heard cliché when someone goes through a difficult loss is, “time will heal”. However I don’t think that is quite accurate. Actually, I am sure it is not. Time doesn’t heal anything, but time allows space for healing. Let me explain.
When I started thinking about the idea of time it first seemed like it was cold and uncaring. The seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, months, and years seem to have their own agenda and lack any empathy as they just continue to ‘march on’ in spite of our losses. I looked at time as my enemy. It wouldn’t give anything back. It was focused only on moving forward. Couldn’t it just pause and rewind for me awhile so that my daughter and I could sing one more song together? Watch a video one last time? Or read just one more book? Time just seemed so unforgiving.
Yet as the minutes have turned to hours, the hours to days, the days to weeks, the weeks to months, and the months to years my opinion of time has changed. I no longer look at it as my enemy, but time has actually become one of my closest, if not best, friends. You see, ‘time’ has not judged me as I have tried to navigate my life after my loss. Time has not criticized me. Time has not made me feel guilty. Time has not been insensitive. Time has not expected that “I should be over my grief by now”. Time has not been ignorant. Time has not been silent or said awkward things.
But instead time has been accepting. Time has been understanding and patient. Time has been sensitive and allowing. Time hasn’t healed me or my wounds of grief, but has allowed me the space I need to heal. Time has been my best friend just willing to sit with me in my pain, grief, tears, sadness, and in my space of anger, guilt and confusion –knowing all along that I would get by and be okay. Time gives me hope that I can do something more with my life. Time inspires me to realize that though there is only a limited time we are here, there is so much we can still do.
I truly believe that my daughter understood this idea of time also – that time is a friend, not the enemy. That is why she lived life as she did – with vigor, with love, with silliness, with an outlook worthy of imitation. While most are consumed with getting things done, accomplishing things and performing for the rest of the world, she was only concerned with the day to day things that were simple and yet deep and real. Spending an hour on the computer laughing at hallmark greeting cards was way more important than any math problem that she needed to solve. She knew that her friend Time would only be able to provide life for her for a shorter amount than most. What was important for her was to love, laugh, give, learn, and teach while she had that space.
So I have come to the conclusion that time can be a good friend to those who are suffering a loss. I’m comforted knowing that ‘my buddy’ time will be there for me. If I try to fight against it and look at it as the enemy, I will miss many of the precious opportunities that life will offer me through our relationship even as I continue to navigate my grief journey. I hope you’ll allow time to be your friend too.
Many find it helpful to meet with others who have experienced a similar loss. These groups, facilitated by our trained volunteers, offer an opportunity to share experiences in a safe, supportive environment. Kara offers regularly scheduled ongoing drop-in groups for adults throughout the year.
General Drop-In Group:
1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 7:00 – 8:30 pm
General Drop-In Group:
2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month from 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Men’s Drop-In Group:*
4th Tuesday of the month from 7:00-8:30 pm
Visit our calendar to get the full dates for our Drop-In groups.
Grief Groups for Families: Sudden Loss Group
Kara’s Youth and Family program currently has openings in its sudden loss peer support groups for families. Children who have experienced the death of a parent and adults who have experienced the death of a spouse or partner through sudden loss are able to meet twice a month in a safe and supportive environment. Children meet together to process their grief through a range of activities, while parents meet together to share their experiences around their own grief and parenting issues.
An initial interview is required before enrolling in the group. Although no fee is required for participating in this group, regular donations are suggested and appreciated. For more information, call us at 650-321-5272 or submit our online form.
PARTNER & ADVOCACY CORNER
We are GRATEFUL for YOU!
A very special acknowledgment this month goes out to the Sobrato Family Foundation, Palo Alto Community Fund, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Facebook Local Community Fund and the Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto. Your financial commitment and partnerships help to make a real difference in the lives of children, teens, families and organizations in our community navigating their journey of loss and grief. THANK YOU!