Monday, June 11, 2018


I've never seen Finding Nemo, but isn't there something about "just keep swimming"? 

That's kind of what I've been doing.  I still feel kind of like I'm underwater.  I'm going through the motions, and sometimes, it feels like everything is back to normal.  Then it kind of hits me again.  Ugh.  But I'm getting through it I guess, as are my brothers and my mom.  Times passing, and that means it's getting better, right?  It's certainly not my only thought all day, every day anymore.  So that's progress. 

Work has been a beat-down, which is kind of a welcome distraction in some ways.  One of my coworkers had a serious family medical issue that started last August.  It got significantly worse over the course of a month, and I guess has gotten progressively better since then?  (Co-worker's father sustained serious injury, three weeks in the hospital, died, then co-worker sold mother's house and she moved in with co-worker and my co-worker's family, then she needed two separate operations and is now in a rehab facility.  Yow.)  And it turns out that my co-worker didn't really ask for help when all this was happening and largely neglected at least the case load I care about (I think my coworker handled cases on some other programs, but not the one I work on).  So of the 50 or so cases my coworker had on this program, I've voluntarily assumed 20 of them.  Whew!  So I'm trying to get up to speed on about 20 cases that haven't really been touched in almost a year.  It's certainly an undertaking. 

And I've been traveling A LOT for work.  Like back when I was working at a big firm.  Mostly, Philly, but there has been some LA, and there's some upcoming Illinois and New Mexico  Last week was particularly dreadful -- I was actually scheduled to be in town all week.  I worked from home Wednesday (per my usual routine), and at 3:00, while still in my gym clothes, was told I needed to be in court in Philly at 9:00 Thursday morning.  Ugh.  So it was the whole drill -- find a plane ticket, find a hotel, shower, pack, get out the door.  All in less than an hour.  I had to call my husband from the car and tell him I was going, and wasn't sure if I'd be back the next day or not.  And then I had to come back to Philly yesterday, and I'm probably stuck here all week.  Fortunately Philly is a pretty awesome city. 

The worst part about the work travel is going back home.  I don't know why it doesn't bother me when I fly out of DFW, but when I land, I get that overwhelmingly sad feeling.  Last week, I got off the plane and broke down in the bathroom.  I actually met a nice girl from Germany who was connecting in Dallas for her visit to the US ever (flying to Killeen to visit her cousin who married someone who's in the military).  I came out of stall where I was bawling because I realized there was a line.  She didn't speak much English, but she tried asking, and I totally unloaded on her.  I don't like stranger hugs, but sometimes, when that's all that's available, it works. 

I've even been having dreams about the airport lately.  Mostly where I try not to say goodbye to my mom and my stepdad when they leave.  Sometimes though they haven't visited yet and he's already died but they're somehow allowed to come visit because the trip was already planned.  I guess it could be worse -- my middle little brother has had three dreams where my stepdad (his dad) is sitting there crying and everything is just going on around him.  I guess it's only been 10.5 weeks.  These things take time.  I know. 

My poor husband -- I crawl into bed on days I fly home and I'm so distraught, I wake him up, and he gets stuck listening to me and trying to console me.  He must be wondering how much longer this will last.  He's certainly the bright spot in my world.  I'm so lucky, I'm not sure I'd be so patient with myself.  He certainly wasn't like this after his dad died in January.  But that was so different in some ways.  I think the sudden-ness of this is maybe the heart of my struggle?  Just not getting to say what I wanted to say?  Not knowing that airport hug goodbye 2 weeks and 5 days before it happened was a forever goodbye? 

But in faith that things will at some point get back to normal, we booked our vacation tickets on Saturday.  That's certainly something to look forward to.  We've decided to fly into Cape Town (via Doha), and then out of Livingstone. 

So it may be very, very dark still, but there is this little spot on the horizon.  I just have to keep swimming and I'll get there eventually. 


  1. Prayers for comfort! Yes, just keep swimming!

  2. I think one key thing is to not judge your feelings - and just let them happen. They are real, and they are your feelings. If you feel the need to talk to someone about it, then pursue it whole-heartedly.

    Lisa was in therapy already when her father died - which had some pretty huge ripple effects through the family - and thank goodness she was!

    Because I am a math/physics person to my very core, I look at this as a vector analysis problem: magnitude and direction. (Lisa tolerates me for some reason). In other words - does the directionality of your feelings make sense? And is the magnitude in proportion to what is going on?

    Not an exact science, but the introspection can be helpful - and show how other things impact moments like these, and how these things impact other moments.

    I was glad to not see a 'others have it worse' statement - because that is ALWAYS true, yet never matters. Same for your husband dealing with his dad. No two people are the same, and no two scenarios are identical ... so naturally things will always be different.

    And the reality it - things happen that forever change how we look at certain situations. You might never look at air travel the same way, maybe there will always be a little sadness ... or maybe not. Who knows.

    And the realization that 'life goes on' is very mixed blessing - you know that it is true, and there is power and strength to that - yet at the same time there is coldness and remorse that we have lost someone and part of our heart has been ripped out and everyone around us is just continuing on as if nothing happened.

    For now, you have to remember that there is no expiration date, no fixed timeline, and so on ... your feelings are your feelings.