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Please begin with an informative title:

Warm wishes for the New Year!  Welcome to all, especially those for whom grief has robbed  the holidays of joy and hope.

A special welcome to anyone who is new to The Grieving Room.  We meet every Monday evening.  Whether your loss is recent or many years ago, whether you have lost a person or a pet, or even if the person you are "mourning" is still alive ("pre-grief" can be a very lonely and confusing time) you can come to this diary and process your grieving in whatever way works for you.  Share whatever you need to share.  We can't solve each other's problems, but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.
Please join me over the squiggle...

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

I have been spending some of the very little downtime I have had this holiday thinking about this series and what it has done for me and meant to me over the 5.5 years I have been managing it.

I started it in response to my mother's death on April 6, 2007, with this diary: The Grieving Room: a weekly support diary.  It had been a very hard year prior, watching and waiting for her to succumb to the ravages of pancreatic cancer.  She was truly the rock in my life, sometimes more so than my husband and family of choice.

I got to see my stages of grief in action that first year, and I discovered, through interactions on this series, that every single grief is unique to the aspects (and complications) of the relationship it mourns. Still, there are threads of sameness that we all share, at some point or other.  It is these touchstones of connection that I hoped to foster through this series.  It seemed a safe place to do it, as the users here can mostly be assumed to be liberal-minded and see the world more like we do.  

For me, it worked better than grief therapy (which I found moderately helpful, but eventually dropped).  Your mileage may vary.

This fall, I decided for various reasons that I needed to let go of the weekly job of managing this series. The biggest reason is this:  I am sensing that I will be faced with another grief relatively soon: my father is almost 79, suffering from extremely aggressive basal cell carcinoma that has claimed most of his face, and likely some dementia as well (which might be part of why the cancer was allowed to progress to this point). Spending time with him this holiday made me sure that it is time to figure out our family's options. I need some time away from grief before it visits me again.

I sincerely thank all of you who have hosted, commented, or even just lurked on this series for the past five years.  It was a labor of love that I am overjoyed to know will continue on in the capable hands of my friend, TrueBlueMajority, who lost her mother just a little before I lost mine.  I appreciate her so very much!

So, in the spirit of how we would all like to be feeling, I want to wish each of you who have read this far a 2013 that is full of hope, healing, and perhaps even normalcy. May you find moments of happiness to balance out the grief now and then.  

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