For someone who has experienced the fullness of a long life, ‘Jane’ has been challenged to face new obstacles in her senior days. In her mid-60s, she watched her life change from happily married, housed, and healthy, to one heartbreak after another. In a year-long spiral of pain and heartbreak, Jane has walked through her husband’s death, a major illness and multiple surgeries, and the loss of a stable home. When she first entered the Café, she could barely speak.
A Little Bit Lighter
We connected her immediately with our Grief and Loss facilitator. Between this weekly small group and her Recovery Circle, Jane was able to “feel-out-loud”. No longer was she alone to carry the burden of her tragic year – she now had the support of Recovery Café Longmont’s community. Day by day, moment by moment, Jane’s presence feels a little bit lighter than it did before.
There is a ritual in a small tribe in Eastern Africa in which following a death, the community comes together to cry, to yell, to move, to speak. The community comes together and grieves out loud. While personal therapists are indubitably a wonderful resource, the sharing of emotions in community is what makes us human, connected.
Walking Each Other Home
On the surface, her age may appear as a barrier to some of our younger peers, but it was actually one of our 20-something male Members who has been able to extend a hand in the greatest capacity. He, too, had lost his spouse, and was experiencing homelessness. He had a chronic illness. Despite opposite sides of gender and age, these two were able to connect on experiences central to the human heart.
The external differences cease to exist when we open up ourselves to our similarities.
We’re all just walking each other home.