Day 10 of #mayweallheal, Understanding.
I’m writing today’s post from the perspective of the support I have had from my employer and colleagues as an’on this day’ post reminded me I’ve been back at work for nearly a year since Rory died.
I had a few days of popping in at first which helped me remember that work was still there, still normal and it probably helped my colleagues see that I wasn’t a crazy person crying all over the place.
I was brave and attended the annual staff party a few weeks after Rory died, it felt weird to be out ‘having fun’, I wasn’t really but I pretended and was glad I went. I had a few random hugs and ‘good to see you’ comments from people I didn’t expect to care which meant a lot. I managed to keep it together until after I dropped my friend off and sobbed the rest of the way home. People being nice always sends me over the edge.
Then it was time to go back properly, first to a half day training session with my leadership team colleagues who treated me like a normal person rather than an outcast.
When I came back to my desk it felt OK, it was easier to keep myself to myself at first as I was worried people would ask how I am and I (still) never know how to answer. I asked my boss if I could have a picture of Rory on my desk, I told her it was one from when he was alive rather than dead as I didn’t want to scare people. Her reply was ‘of course, have what you want on your desk’. People have asked if that’s Rory and it makes me happy that they do ask as I’m proud to show him off just like I do with my pictures of Toby. The only difference being that Rory’s photo will never change.
A few weeks into being back at work all the other expected summer babies started being born, it was so very hard hearing hushed conversations about the new baby boys. My team were amazing and mopped up my tears in the toilet corridor and made sure I wasn’t copied into the round robin announcement emails.
A year on I can honestly say I have felt so supported by my team and colleagues and as I go through some other personal challenges at the moment, the colleagues who know have been true to their word and not discussed it with me (as I have asked).
So to finish, all there is left to say is a massive thank you to all of my amazing colleagues for understanding me!