I’ve been reading a book on grieving, No One Cries the Wrong Way. The author lists several ways to grieve, and it occurred to me that none of the ones listed works for those who grieve a loss like ours, because we are grieving a loss of a way of life and friends who are still alive but in many cases no longer speak to us, or at least don’t consider us friends.
We miss these people. We miss the church and aspects of the culture we left behind. We may miss parts of the routine, certain activities, and interactions with others who understand the group’s internal language and perspectives. At the same time, we may be angry at them and resistant to them because they’ve shunned us and failed us.
One of the things the book mentions that we can do is remember the good as well as the bad. We may not be able to share the good memories with our new friends, but we have the opportunity in support groups like this to share those memories with each other.
There’s nothing wrong with missing things about the unhealthy groups we left. There were good and bad aspects, and while we don’t want to go back, we can still miss the good things or the things that made us happy while we were there.