August 4, 2009

Anxiety Setting In

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:56 am by letterstoelias

Hello My Love,

I’m starting back at work tomorrow.  I can’t believe it’s been over three months since I’ve worked.  I’m pretty freaked out.  I’m scared I’ll just sit and stare blankly at the screen.  I’m scared I won’t be productive and that it won’t be fair to my boss, who has been incredibly supportive this whole time.  I’m scared I’ll be talking to a client about their insurance and suddenly tell them my whole story and start to cry.  I’m scared that I’ll get a call from a woman whose mother has cancer and she’ll scream at me and tell me I don’t understand what she’s going through.  I’m scared I’ll just sit and cry because of how scared I’ve become.

I’m sure it won’t be that bad at all.  I’m sure it’s all in my head.  I’ve done this job for over 3yrs – I wouldn’t have done it so long if it wasn’t a good job.  It’s not about the job.  I know I won’t need to take any phone calls this week – Jason has graciously allowed me to ease back into work slowly – I’m only working a few hours this week and trying to start with simple tasks.  I’m sure it will be fine and I’ll make it – just like I’ve some how made it this far without you in everything else.  I know I need the income.  I figure some sort of routine to our days can’t be too bad.  I know the girls will be in good hands between my Mom and the Straw’s.  But still, I’m scared.

Going back feels strange in many ways.  Perhaps because I’m going back to a part of my ‘old life’, and that part has not really been changed because you died.  Clients won’t know I’m a widow.  They won’t know I’m grieving.  They won’t know I’m struggling to balance a house, work, budget, kids, yard, dog, head, heart, on my own.  They won’t understand if I’m forgetful, spacey and distracted.  They are calling for a product and good service.  Something I was once able to provide.  What if I can’t any longer?  Mistakes can be dangerous in my job.  I was already making little slips now and then in the month before you died – and now???  I don’t like making mistakes.  Sure, you learn from them, yada yada yada.  I don’t want to learn right now.  I want to do the job right and do it well.  I don’t know if I can.

Some people may think the fact that going back to a familiar part of my old life that didn’t have to change with your passing is a good thing, but I’m not so sure.  It feels like it’s a signal that I’m ‘moving forward’ – not that moving forward is a bad thing, it’s just that it would feel fake, since I don’t believe I’m ready for that yet.  And, I don’t want people to think that because I’m going back I must be ready.  But, I guess I have been moving forward this whole time.  Maybe only a millimetre at a time, sometimes, but forward none the less.

Though there are still circumstances that throw me back too.  I got our computer back last night (again) and was loading photos onto it.  I was scrolling through our photo library and saw a video clip and wasn’t sure what it was since my camera doesn’t have video capabilities.  I had forgotten that we had loaded Peters and you parents photos and videos from our trip last summer onto our computer.  It was from that night in Paris with your family.  I know you know the night I mean, just as any of your family would know when we refer to ‘that night in Paris’ – all of us together, sitting on the patio on a beautiful, warm summer night, with the musicians serenading us, E dancing, enjoying each other’s company.  The last night we would all be together.  We were all so happy.  The video clip turned out to be only 39 seconds long, but the instant it came on I was in tears and as the camera panned the table to where you were sitting, I lost it completely.  Of the 39 second clip you were only on it for just a few, and you spoke only a few words – talking to E.  But a second is all it takes.  Even knowing I was going to see you was enough.  Looking at photos is hard – seeing your face and trying to come to terms with the fact that I won’t ever see it again – but video . . .  the sound of your voice.  Oh god.  Even thinking of it now tears at my heart.  There are no words.

I was pretty weepy much of the day today, even though it was a pretty good day.  I had Buz, Sian and the boys over for breakfast – waffles.  I made the recipe where you prepare most of the batter the night before.  In the morning, I whisked the egg whites until I thought my arm would fall off.  E had been colouring in the other room and I called her in when I finally got them to the point where I could hold the bowl upside-down over her head.  I was clearly more excited than she was.  She stood there for a second then said, ‘I’m going back to colour now’ and ran out of the room.  Oh well.  They turned out great though, and were a big hit.  After breakfast the girls went to Buz and Sian’s for the day.  I managed to get a few things done around the house, as well as catch up with Jana on the phone and I had a nice ichat with Claude.  But still, almost any mention of you today had me in tears.  As I’ve said from the beginning of this, how much I miss you never changes, but some days it just hits harder.

Well, C is now standing beside my bed looking up at me.  Now she’s pointing at her locket with a big smile.  She is one of the happiest kids I know.  She woke a few minutes ago and I tried to get her back to sleep in her room, obviously unsuccessfully.  Every time I try to leave the rooms I think she senses the change in air pressure, or she can hear my ankles crack, or my feet sticking to the floor, or my necklace jingle – whatever it is she can seemingly be asleep, yet know the second I so much as think about leaving.  I feel so much for our little C.  She has really been short- changed.  I now that she’s a little tougher, being a second child (speaking from experience), but she hasn’t had some of the same luxuries her big sister had.  Time with you aside, I also night weaned her faster, moved her to a separate bed faster, and now I’m hoping she’ll fall asleep without me in the room faster (or at least get to a point where I can leave for a moment to go to the washroom without her screaming the whole time or running after me down the hallway and banging on the door).  I tried the other night.  It was not fun for either of us.  Then I just end up feeling guilty.  She has a mom who is shorter energy and patience in recent months.  She is, however, deeply loved – and she knows it – and that’s what really counts.  I show her at every chance I get.  As such, rather than ushering her back to her bed, she is now snuggled up happily beside me and here she will stay for the rest of the night.  Squished on my side of the bed with me.  Your side, is still yours.

I forgot to mention – we went to town yesterday for my Grandpa’s 90th birthday party.  I had E help me make the cake, and my Mom came and helped her decorate it.  She was very happy with the results; it was pink with sprinkles and said ‘Happy’ in smarties with a ‘90’ in candles.  We had a really nice visit, and the girls had fun playing hide-and-go-seek (E’s new favourite game) with my Aunt Mona and Uncle Doug.  My Grandpa stayed in his recliner most of the time, but I guess at 90 yrs of age, it’s well earned.

Well, I guess I should get some sleep so I have ‘some’ ability to work tomorrow.  I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it all – keeping up with the house is hard enough without working.  I’m going to have to get more motivated and more organized.  I should also go for C’s sake.  She seems to think my typing is pretty funny right now. . . . .

Good night, my Love,


P.S.  I Love You



  1. Diane said,

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I hope your first day back to work wasn’t too bad.
    I remember mine, it took a while, maybe even quite a while before I was functioning again.

    Hugs from a fellow widow.

    • letterstoelias said,

      Hello Diane,

      Thanks for your comment – as sad as it is that there are so many out there, it is comforting to hear from other widows who understand and can relate. I really appreciate you taking the time to share.

      And, I’ve now gotten through two days thus far, though not overly productive . . .


  2. Anna said,

    Hi Chelsea,
    I know it must be hard to ask for help. PLEASE call me if I can pick up the girls for you…anytime. If I can take them to the park when you feel overloaded or if you need to just breathe while looking at the computer contemplating work. It seems too soon to have to work. Please put me on a schedule…give me a day to take them for a few, 4, 5 hours.
    I will call you tomorrow.

  3. Roads said,

    Going back to work is hard. I can remember that an hour a day was all I could manage at first. Enough to tell maybe 20 people all that had happened.

    And the same the next day. And the next, and the next again.

    Finally, I’d told them all, except for the few who ran away in fear, of course. It was exhausting.

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