The soup warmed on the stove. There was excited yelling as the kids ran around the house. We gathered in the living room, some on the couch, some on the floor. Rainbow babies and surviving children played. Our conversations went from life to death. There was laughter and tears. And? It just felt comfortable.
It wasn't just any ordinary gathering. It was a group of people with something in common: loss. It's a pretty crappy thing to have in common, but it's amazing to have the support of people who get it. Not just say they get it, but actually get it. Because they've been there, or are there.
We can talk about life and death in the same sentence. We can talk about our shattered dreams and even our hope for the future. We don't have to worry about making others feel bad or whether we will get looks of pity. Conversations that would normally end with awkward statements or uncomfortable silences feel natural and unforced. The silences aren't uncomfortable, instead they are full of understanding. Heads nod as we take turns sharing because we get it. We have been loved and we have been hurt. We have loved deeply and lost greatly. In this space, I feel safe and supported. I don't worry about being judged for feelings and emotions that others would consider strange or over the top. And it's all okay. We get to speak freely and it gets to be normal (whatever that is).
I hate that anyone has to be in this "club" with me, but I am so thankful that I'm not alone.