In my grief share support group last week (my first class) I was given a work book, and since I missed the first two classes, I went back to see what was covered and they suggested that I write out a letter to all of my friends to help you to know where I am and what you can do that will help ease the stress of the grief that I and my family are experiencing. So Here is my letter to you.
Dear dear friends,
Most of you know that on January 29, 2011, I lost the love of my life to melanoma cancer. We are now approaching the 5th month anniversary, which also will fall on his birthday. The loss that I and my children have experienced has been devastating. We have cried so many tears, yet knowing there are many more to fall. This is something that we won't be "over" for a long time. This is something that my extended family, including Curtis' siblings and mother and other family members won't be "over" for a long time.
I want to say how much I appreciate each and every one of you. All those who have texted, who have called, who have sent a card... Everyone of you have been a part of this new journey that we are walking. I want all of you to know that there are still days that I have all I can do to get out of bed, but I also have days where I am happy, days that I make it through with a smile on my face. I am finding out that it is ok to experience a wide range of emotions all at one time, and that I am not crazy for feeling these intense feelings. I need you more than ever, you might think well it has been almost 5 months, I should be doing much better, but grief is such an individual experience that there is no right or wrong way of experiencing it. There is no timeline.
You may see me experiencing some of these wide range of emotions. You may see my children experiencing them as well. We may experience anger for no apparent reason. I may repeat the same thing to you as the last time that we talked. More than anything right now, we need your love and your patience as we work through this.
This weekend is going to be specially hard with Father's Day, and then also on the 29th, like I said, that is not only the 5th month anniversary but also Curtis' 44th birthday. You may wonder what you can do for us during this time, the most important thing is that you don't stop calling, don't stop checking on us. Even when I reply "everything is ok" - keep asking. Don't stop hugging me and the kids. Especially my kids. I have experienced much support so far, but maybe you don't know how to give my kids support. This weekend with Father's day, send them a message, give them a call. Let them know that you are praying for them. And please do pray for them... I am experiencing a whole new layer of grief this week, and that is for my kid's father... I am grieving over their loss of their dad. I grieved the loss of my husband on my anniversary, but now grieving the loss of my kids dad. Don't be afraid to reach out to my kids this weekend. Don't be afraid to let them see you cry, don't be afraid to share your favorite memory of their dad. Yes, it will be hard- for you and for them- but what my kids and I need to know most of all is that you have not forgotten my husband- their dad: Curtis Forbes.
When you are missing him, it is ok to let me know that. When you are remembering good times or bad times, I want you to share with me. Please do not ever forget the man he was and the man that he became.
I and the kids may appear on the outside that we have it together and are doing well, but our hearts still break every day in some way. Even when my kids try to be tough, they are crying on the inside. You don't have to have the right words to say, just you being near by is so important to us. Your prayers are so appreciated. God will continue to carry us through I am certain, but we still need you.
Thank you for everything. Don't stop praying for us friends. This has been difficult to say the least but your prayers and support are helping us in so many ways.
From my heart,