As you could tell from my last post, Thursday was a tough day. One of my employees passed away, a young woman survived by two children. She had worked for the company for eight years and was close to many people there.
Seeing as I was her boss, I had to keep it together for a while. Her husband had contacted me, and I had to contact my bosses, HR, other division heads, and most importantly the rest of the department. My boss was very supportive, right there with me for most of it. But being that myself and the rest of my staff spent every weekday with this woman we were definitely hit the hardest and mainly where people looked for information.
In dealing with this tragedy I learned a couple of things about myself.
First of all, alcohol really does help me deal with my feelings. I wouldn't use the phrase numbing them, I would rather say it evens them out. Instead of ranging from extreme emotion to extreme emotion, drinking allowed me to sit down and talk through the whole experience. It evenly distributed the sadness. Thighs and the guy on my team spent the afternoon at the bar with me, and it made the world of difference.
Secondly, I absolutely refuse to my core to reveal my emotions in any kind of public. When my boss offered, even insisted, I talk though my feelings I got choked up for a minute and then said, "I don't do that." Across the street at the bar I started to get teary but fought like hell until the tequila did its job.
But my god when I was finally on my own I let loose. Walking home I wore my sunglasses to hide my red teary eyes, and then as soon as I made it inside my apartment I was wracked with sobs. The pain and sadness was so great I was reduced to rocking in the fetal position just crying. I cannot even think of the last time that I was that wrecked.
Friday was much easier. More people knew as a company email went out, but in a way talking so much to so many really helped me. I had moved past the worst of the shock and pain. Enough so that it wasn't such a burden to do what I could for others.
On that note, a sincere thank you to everyone who did reach out. Unfortunately this woman cannot be here to receive these words of kindness. All of these thoughts really are about her, couched in my trying to understand life with her gone. In some sad way it really is the last of what we can give her, our thoughts and energy. And I do believe she gets both.
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