A week has gone by since camp and I've had some time to let the experience brew. For days, the Camp Erin song played through my head. It ended: "Camp Erin, Camp Erin, Makes Us Feel Good." Maybe there was some truth to it.
Honestly, I'd carried some of my jaded emotions to the camp. Not helpful emotions. They were there to distance and separate. Creating the walls of protection around me. I heard the song at training and thought it was kind of silly. But it worked its way into my brain and like a mantra, impressed itself upon me until I believed it was true.
Walking around the following days, I wanted to tell people what I had experienced. I realised no one wanted to hear about it- it made them uncomfortable. They'd rather hear that I went to naked biking clown camp, or anything really other than a children's grief camp. It was very similar to response I'd received in the past when I told people my dad was dead.
Obviously it is an uncomfortable subject.
American society in particular is focused on the positive and happy. No one wants the dark underbelly. Sadness should be swiftly swept under the rug and replaced with an industrious happy smile. Move on. Don't dwell.
I wonder if all that shuffling along worsens the scarring that's created by traumatic experiences. I don't advocate dwelling on the past, but the past is part of your present and your future. And if we've developed unhealthy behavioral patterns related to our past then likely they are best to be dealt with.
I found a place in town that does grief support groups for children through young adults. It seemed like a good place to volunteer. I was toying with the idea of asking if I could attend a few of their sessions (as a participant). I wonder if it would be a good idea for a few weeks or months. Maybe then I could volunteer for them on a regular basis.
The idea of attending thirty-one years later seems almost ridiculous, but at the same time, it might be a good idea. If I could get a better understanding of myself and meet others in the same place, then perhaps I could do something for people who were in my same shoes.