Saturday, 17 December 2016

Kindness and exhaustion

Looking at my last two posts, the titles are all abstract noun doubles, loss and grief, love and hope, kindness and exhaustion. Well, I'm not trying to turn into some sort of blogging Jane Austen title generator, I just post what comes to mind!
The exhaustion in the title is what I am feeling at the moment. The term running up to Christmas is in general the worst in terms of being pretty full on and usually the holiday can't come too soon. For me this week has been particularly hard as I haven't been sleeping (I generally do suffer from insomnia.) Tuesday night was particularly bad; I had several flashback dreams around the memory of finding Kev on the day he died and only slept in snatches, possibly only two or three hours. It was  stupid of me to go into work the next day, but I was staying on late due to a visiting speaker who was giving a talk to the Lower Sixth and I couldn't see how I could ask anyone else to do it.
The kindness in the title refers to my wonderful colleagues who noticed what I looked like (apparently like I'd been punched in the face-..thanks Tom...) and bravely ventured down the Senior Management corridor to insist I got sent home. The result was that I left at 3.30 thus also missing the traffic build up that I would have led to an hour or more journey home that I often face.
My colleagues are not the only people who have been kind over the last few weeks, shortly after the funeral, life seemed to go very quiet and I didn't hear from anyone for some weeks. Yet these last few weeks  I've had several people contact me to offer meals, visits and trips out. Ironically, I can't take them up on this because I am shattered and just need peace and quiet. I do feel bad about this and I don't want to lose friends but I am just not up to socialising so I  hope and pray they will understand that it is a way of showing kindness to myself.


  1. I can't believe you actually went to work the next day Sue.
    While I know every one of us reacts differently to the body-blow dealt by the death of a spouse, I've never heard of anyone doing that.
    There is as I well remember a sense of being on automatic-pilot, but to attempt to work seems quite extraordinary.
    Your exhaustion is all the more understandable if this is the way you operate.
    If no-one else has said it (and I expect they have), this is the time when you need to be kind to yourself. Do what you want when you want, don't feel obliged to undertake anything
    you feel is too much, however kindly meant.
    If you can't sleep at least rest.
    Your friends will understand.
    Continuing love and prayers.

  2. If I didn't go into work when I hadn't slept properly I would have had to give up work long before now, Ray. Also, the nature of the modern work place is that they don't allow you to have time off at all lightly. Three absences in a twelve month period triggers a disciplinary or competency hearing at our place. The four weeks compassionate leave I was granted still counts as an absence, two more absences within the next twelve months would trigger a hearing. It is no different in most places, I know someone who was given only two weeks compassionate leave following the death of a spouse, they took another week as the funeral hadn't even taken place and were given an interview on their return to discuss whether the extra leave should be paid or unpaid. This wasn't at the place I work by the way (which has actually treated me very well) but it is increasingly the way of the workplace.

  3. Then God help us all. We appear to be progressing steadily backwards.
    It sounds more like 1951 when I started work than the much better 1993 when I retired.
    However, what I said holds Sue. Put yourself first for a while.

  4. I'm shocked at what is happening to workers in many places. There is something far wrong with our society when Draconian measures rule. That's why it is so positive that your colleagues noticed and reacted well. Take care and let your sons help you through Christmas. Every Blessing

  5. Thanks Freda. Am looking to look for a different job at some stage in the nearish future but don't want to rush into any big decisions too so.on

  6. Dear Suem
    I'm so sorry to hear of your loss...I was just looking back at a kind comment you'd left me ages ago and skipped over to your blog to catch up on your news.
    I'm hope and pray you do get the rest and peace you need.
    Thinking of you.

  7. Thanks Jo, wishing you all the best this Christmas.