Grief and the Miracle of Friendship

Grief comes in all shapes and sizes and there just isn’t one right type or way to grieve or reason to. I guess I’ve always known this fact, I even studied it in graduate school for a social work aging class, but never really stopped to figure out when and if I’m ever grieving.

You see, I’ve ALWAYS been the strong one, or at least that’s the identity I feel like I’ve taken my entire life. So it wasn’t until today’s counseling session when I started processing through why I overate last Tuesday that I began to see how I’m actually grieving……

We moved around a lot when I was growing up and as a girl this hindered my ability to make and maintain close friendships. By the time I was in high school, we moved to a new town and I was the outsider, sure I had friends, but I never really felt like I had lifelong friends and that’s even evidenced today as I and they don’t stay in touch with each other. We are Facebook friends and that’s it. I guess I didn’t really realize how deeply this impacted me until we moved to Rolla

. I have a handful of girlfriends from my young adult years from Michigan, but we don’t really stay in touch. I mean, we pick right up where we left off when we see each other, but it’s so rare that we see each other that I have felt for a lot of years alone in the friend department.

That is until I moved to Rolla…..

But let me back up…..

Prior to Rolla, we lived in Columbia Missouri and it was the same case there, girls I worked with and would talk to at work and see occasionally outside of work, but no one who really initiated getting to know me. If I wanted friendships, I found that I was always initiating them. So before we moved to Rolla, I started praying that God would provide a close girlfriend, a kindred spirit, if you will.  I’ll be honest, I half expected God to deliver since I really had never had such a friend.

Then one day, I met this mom named, DeLisa. Jeff had met her first, so when we all ended up at the same table together for youth event, he struck up a conversation with her. I didn’t think it was odd that I sat observing.  Even though I had been prayingI was gun shy, mostly due to the stroke and my inability to socialize now and with all my other health issues, most people didn’t stick around through my health crises. So I didn’t think anything of going out of my way to exert much effort. But there was something about DeLisa that I was drawn to, plus my daughter enjoyed her daughter. My daughter asked if we could have her daughter stay the night.

So I asked her (I think I Facebook messaged her actually) and

Like any good mom who doesn’t know the family asking to have her child over, DeLisa said, “Well I would need to get to know you first” I remember thinking, “wow this is different!! And I knew I liked her” So I invited her to tea and we’ve been having tea once a week for over a year now.

So it makes PERFECT sense, after pondering this with my counselor, that last Tuesday’s overeating episode (which was AT the teahouse where I meet DeLisa on a Tuesday) was a direct, unconscious result of my sheer sadness and grief to be moving away from this friend, who’s not only my best friend but as close to me as a sister. My counselor explained that we use food to comfort and that’s exactly what I did.

I am sad.

But I will not resort to unhealthy behaviors like overeating to deal with my sadness. So instead, here I am blogging about my grief.

A true kindred spirit girlfriend is a rare gem to be treasured and I feel so honored that notonly would God answer my prayer several years ago, but that He would allow someone as precious as DeLisa Holland and her amazing family to enter our lives. I may be sad today, but my life is blessed forever for knowing her!

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