Grieving As A Group Activity

 September continues to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month as the sadiversary approaches. 


On Sunday I had the honour of attending the dedication of the Aynho Play Park in the village in which Terry was born and raised to the Terry Benbow Memorial Play Park. A member of the local council proposed the dedication last year and it was passed unanimously by members the local council, most of whom knew and loved my husband and his family. The news itself was so amazing. As a little boy Terry used to spend a lot of time playing in this park with his sisters. If you had told little Terry that someday this park would be his he would never have believed it in a million years. But I suppose he could never have imagined the events of last September, nor could any of us. 


Terry’s family designed and purchased the most beautiful monument that has ever been made and had it installed last month, where it has remained under cover waiting for Sunday. I met his family for lunch at his parents house and they asked me to unveil the monument, which meant a lot to me. We made our way over to the Play Park early and I was completely overwhelmed by the support shown and the people who had given up their day to attend. His fellow Scout Leaders who he loved as his family were there, most all of his extended family, many of the scouts that he had worked with had shown up, many wearing their Scout uniforms, members of the local village and people he had worked with in motorsport were all there. 

As I stood at the front near the monument with Terry’s father my eyes scanned the crowds and everyone was in tears as we talked about and remembered Terry and it hit me: all of these people love my husband and they all miss him so much it hurts. And that realization meant a lot to me.

Grief is a very selfish emotion and on the bad days I often feel that there is no one who can know the pain that I feel at the loss of Terry. Logically I know this is not true, but I feel it nonetheless. I felt humbled, awed and just plain pleased that so many others were there to show their love and support to grieve publicly at the devastating loss of Terry. I felt honoured that so many miss my amazing husband and know that it is a testament to the amazing man that he was the amazing goodness with which he lived his life that shone every day that he was with us. 

I was overwhelmed with emotion and unable to say a thing but I was able to unveil this beautiful tribute to my husband:




Isn’t it beautiful?  Terry could never have designed anything better if he had tried and I am grateful to his family for having this made. 

When it was unveiled all of the children present were invited to come and play with the monument and they swarmed it and climbed on it just as it was designed to do. The sight of so many children playing with Terry’s memorial in his park overwhelmed me. 

After the dedication we gathered for tea and coffee at the village pavilion and it was really nice to spend time simply remember Terry with others who loved him while also reminded of how many did love him. It somehow lessened the burden that I often feel I bear and the temporary relief was lovely. 

Last week I received a call from a local bereavement charity asking if I would be interested in attending a local bereavement support group. It will meet once a week in the evenings and will consist of people how have been bereaved by a variety of people, not just spouses. I signed up immediately. I am nervous for the first session as I don’t know what to expect and also it is soon after the first sadiversary and I still don’t know how I will cope with that and I fear the worst, but perhaps grieving as a group activity is a good way to go about this? 

The support that I received on Sunday was indescribable and I am hopeful that my new bereavement support group can offer me some much needed support as I pass into my second year of widowhood. 


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