when does it start to sink in?

(7 Posts)
TCOB Wed 09-Mar-11 20:19:15

I don't particularly have a right to feel sad but I lost my assistant a couple of weeks ago, and I loved him to bits - he was fantastic. Had been ill for a a few months so I thought it would be easy to say goodbye - almost a technicality - but somehow it seems less and less real with each day. I've even written him emails - I left his account up as I just didn't feel like I should try and erase him yet. When does the loss of someone you saw every day become real? Does it have to become real? Is being a denial a safe place to be or does there have to be a crashing moment when it becomes real?

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MavisEnderby Wed 09-Mar-11 20:29:00

I don't know tcob.For me it came in bits.Even though I was with dp when they took him off the ventilator and i held his hand until he stopped breathing.I was in a fog,all through his funeral and beyond.I think it hit me in bits,clearing out his wardrobe,listening to music that meant a lot to him,realising that it was only me who would kiss the children goodnight,silly things like that.Even now,9 months on(today in fact) I still sometimes expect him to be sat on the sofa sharing a joke.If it doesn't feel right for you leave it and do it when it does feel right.So sorry about your assistant xxHugs Mavis xx

TCOB Wed 09-Mar-11 20:38:50

Oh Mavis I am so sorry. I am in awe of people living with loss like yours. It sometimes feels like it's the 'things' (notes, handwriting, emails, presents etc) which keep someone alive. And I am clinging to these things at the moment. Thank you for your advice - I think you are right not to 'force' it, there can't be any advantage in your head battering your heart into submission and forgetting someone wilfully. Once again I am so so sorry for your loss, you so sound incredibly brave.

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MavisEnderby Wed 09-Mar-11 20:44:57

TCOB please don't apologise,I won't break honestly,lol

I agree about the little things.

go easy on yourself,it doesn't matter if its a partner,parent sib or colleague you lose,if it was someone who was close and means a lot the pain is very real.Honestly i wasn't trying to make you feel bad in any way just trying to explain how i felt/feel.There is no time span on grief and no right or wrong way of dealing with it.If it helps to keep the e mails etc do so.I think you sort of know when the time is right to let go of some stuffxx

Escallonia Wed 09-Mar-11 21:53:26

just to second all that Mavis says. wanted to add that you have every right to feel this as a huge loss. colleagues are people we spend a lot of time with, and when you have great colleagues they become a very important part of your life. Your assistant sounds like he was lovely.

when my DH died, I know that it affected everyone in his office very very badly. they were utterly devastated, he was the life and soul, a real driver for their success, very charismatic but kind and had time for everyone. They left his desk alone for ages and eventually moved the office round a bit, I think they still made sure though that place where his desk was was given over to something else rather than have someone sit "in his place". He had various bits and pieces of office wizardry and gadgety stuff on his desk, and lots of people asked if they could have something for their own desk - even things like a desk fan. Just something to connect them and make them think of him.

it will take time, ups and downs, backs and forwards. you will find yourself not thinking about him, then suddenly catching yourself doing that and being shocked all over again. Take it gently and don't ever feel you don't have the right to grieve. Stay in touch with his family if you can. They will love to hear things about how he was at work, and how missed he is. And, perhaps, how you have dealt with things like his desk... in time.


TCOB Thu 10-Mar-11 19:55:49

Escallonia and Mavis: thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I think I had a slightly naive expectation of this kind of grief as to be honest I've only had childhood losses before this (gran, grandad etc) which whilst painful seem quite straightforward - loss - tears - forgetting. I suppose this adult grief has a lot more layers to it. I think I now know how your DH's colleagues felt, my version of his desk is his coffee cup! Two of his friends came up to me at the funeral and said that I needed to know how much he loved his job and I do find it a comfort that the feelings were mutual.

MN really comes into it's own in this section doesn't it - makes the other stuff seem quite daft (though daft is sometimes exactly what's needed smile)

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onlyjoking9329 Sat 12-Mar-11 16:49:25

Sorry for your loss, I don't think it's denial as such but acceptance takes a long time. We knew for ten months that my DH would die from his cancer, I was with him when he died and our three kids were at school, one of the hardest things was explaining things to the kids at a level they could understand ( they have autism)
As Steve had brain cancer he was very confused and almost childlike, most of the time he didn't remember that he had a terminal illness and in a way I'm glad that he didn't remember.
It may help you to be in touch with your assistants family, I'm sure you have many memories you can share with them and I'm sure that they will welcome any link to him.

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