Working With Grief


This is my life now, living with grief is a daily battle. It never ends, we just try to adapt to life with grief. Last week I was filled with a new found strength. I used this strength to put more effort into my job and was proud that I felt as though I was finally escaping the fog. That was until I was pulled into a meeting at the end of what I thought had been a productive week for me. And the words from my employer’s mouth were basically that they can see I am only functioning at about 30% and I need to give them more.

I knew this already, I feel bad about my performance at work and I am the first to admit I’m not all there. Will I ever be again?

Then there was the observation “you don’t talk to anyone in the office anymore, not even a hello or goodbye.” I come across as cold to my colleagues, when before I knew grief, I had been one of the most social people in my workplace.

I don’t talk to anyone because I don’t want to be asked the dreaded question “how are you today?”

Hearing all of this hurt a lot, I had a complete breakdown because I thought I had been hiding it all so well. I was embarrassed and angry at myself, angry with John.

All of this came right before the full moon. I have come to notice my emotions are largely effected each month around the full moon. The new found strength I had was no longer there. I spent most of the days that followed isolated in my room with tears and asking the question that brings me the most pain, why? Why did this happen to us?

Alone and feeling lost, I tried to push myself out of the mood I had fallen into by reading positive life quotes. Talking to friends and listening to their problems to distract from my own. After two days of dwelling and feeling trapped in my own mind I chose to push myself out of the house. I took the children to the beach, the playground, the shopping centre and swimming.

I reminded myself I will only fail if I stop trying, so “get up” is what I told myself.

And it worked. I reminded myself how disappointed John would be if I lost my job, I reminded myself how cranky he would be at me. So while at work this week although still living in a fog of him I made the fog about what he would be saying to me right now.

On the inside of my palm I wrote the words “What would he say!!!” and I can say that this week past was the most productive week I’ve had yet at work for over nine months.

I walked into the office looked at the note on my palm, smiled at my colleagues and joyfully said good morning and good afternoon. The passion I once had for my job is difficult to find these days so instead I will use the passion I have for wanting John to be proud of me, to push me until it returns. I will fake it till I make it.

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  • Susan Anderson
    commented 2016-09-26 09:36:05 -0700
    My first experience with grief was when my Dad died suddenly of a heart attack 25 years ago. I loved him so much, and he was gone! I was sad and lethargic. Work was meaningless. My boss called me and said that I didn’t seem to be getting over his death (maybe 6 months later) and my interest in work was slacking. She suggested that I get therapy. I remember how insulted I was when she said that! I wasn’t “not performing”, I just wasn’t breaking my neck for the stupid job! Because compared to death, it was irrelevant. I was annoyed that she had put a time frame on my recovery and she was putting pressure on me. I didn’t feel that she was concerned about ME, just about how hard I was willing to work then. I didn’t go to therapy. I did recover in my own time. I still think that she was overstepping. I am glad that you are able to gie them what they want at your job. I am glad that you have the energy to fake it until you make it! Good luck! Hang in there!
  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2016-09-24 23:15:13 -0700
    Wow Kaiti your experience brings up so many thoughts. Sometimes it all seems so unfair – the expectations of others, the inability to focus that comes with the grief, just the situation we find ourselves in. So very proud of all you do for yourself and all of us. Give yourself lots of credit – you deserve it!