In the Korean drama we watched this past winter- the family would always say this word with a Korean accent, “Figh ting!” as an encouragement to each other. In the end, the grandfather (haraboji) died, or so it seemed- after a long illness. But actually he was in the final shot of the family years later- he was laughing. We couldn’t decide whether it was his spirit watching or really him and that he had somehow outlived the illness. It frustrated us that the writers didn’t make it at all clear, and you said you were done with Korean dramas after that. Well, you were never really into them- it was me that made you watch with me.
The counselor told me I’m a “fighter” today. She was telling me the first few support groups I attend might be really painful and I won’t feel like going back. “But” she says, “you’re a fighter.”
I’ll start the support group next Tuesday. I guess it’s my personality to be thorough. When I was pregnant, I signed us up for just about every class out there. We went to an eight week childbirth class, a baby care class- the kind where we diapered, burped and held plastic dolls, two breast feeding classes, and an infant cpr class- you did something really funny in this class that made all of the other couples and the teacher- a nerdy older woman named grace- laugh really hard. I think it was when we had to go around taking turns showing that we understood what to do with the baby in case of emergency. We were supposed to say, “Baby, baby, are you OK? in a loud voice- before beginning the other steps- checking for breathing and then administering CPR. I wish I could remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure you said something like, “Yeah, I’m fine!” and picked up the doll and hugged him with a big smile on your face. Something like that.
So now I’ll do one-on-one grief counseling- and I’ll do the support group since I found a good one and that’s free. I’ll read through the stack of books I’ve gotten – either as gifts from well-meaning friends- or from the widower who sent me the few that he found most helpful. I’ll keep thinking and writing.
“You are going straight through this grief,” the counselor tells me. “You’re not circumventing it- you’re going right through.”