Thursday, January 15, 2009

Calling in Sad, err, I mean, Sick

For the past 3 mornings, I’ve called in sick to work. And while it’s true that I haven’t really felt 100%, it’s probably not because I’m sick, per se. I mean, if I start thinking about it philosophically, I’ll probably never really feel 100% again. There’s truly a part of me missing. In order for Dylan’s heart to be whole, he had to take a little piece of mine up to Heaven with him.

The reality of the situation is that I couldn’t exactly call in sad to work. Here’s how that voicemail would go: “Hey, it’s Katrina. I’m not coming into work today. I’m feeling sad.” Most people in this situation would just suck it up and force themselves to go to work. And, truly, it’s what I’ve been doing for the past 4 months. But I’m a firm believer (and supporter) of mental health days. Sometimes, you just need them. So I put myself on a sabbatical for the past couple of days, to allow myself to grieve and cry (and do so openly, which I can’t do at work).

But, no worries, the guilt will get me back into work tomorrow.

“Pain is there for a reason. It reminds us that we’re human, that we feel.”

I guess I’ve been kind of “coasting” for the past few months. And it’s not even that I don’t feel the pain, it’s more that I cushion it so that people don’t feel uncomfortable being around me. If my general demeanor gives people the idea that I’m “over it”, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is that I’m faking the funk for them, for their benefit.

Why is it so much easier for people to celebrate with us than it is for people to mourn with us? Why is it so much easier for people to say, “Congratulations” than to say “I’m so sorry for your loss”? I mean, I get it. People generally don’t know what to say. Even the people who offered the standard, “If you need anything” . . . haven’t really been around to follow through. Yeah, I guess you could say that I’m a little disappointed in some people (co-workers and friends alike).

But because I want to end this rant on a positive note, I must remind myself that there are those few beacons of light in my life in the form of supportive, caring, sympathetic people, willing to walk beside us through this difficult journey. I received this note in the mail months ago and never really thought to post it (she doesn’t even know I’m doing this), but it’s the small things like this that remind me that we are not alone:

“The journey of healing takes patience and time, love and support, courage and hope.”

Dear Katrina,

I think of the day Dylan was born. I also remember when I found out how sick he was . . . and the call on the 17th. I was upset. I cried. I was sad for you. I sat and reflected on my family for awhile. I had no idea what you were feeling. I still don’t. But after reading your blog this morning, I feel closer to you and Dylan. It was my first time seeing him. He is beautiful! Your words really touched my heart. My emotions flowed again, much more this time though. I feel I’ve done nothing to comfort you. In fact, I know I haven’t. Truthfully, I don’t know what to do. I want to be able to support you in your recovery process. So for now, I hope this card can convey my sorrow, my hope, my support, and my love. “It is the nature of the world to provide challenges. It is human nature to support one another.” From one mom to another, who both know what it means to truly love – hold that love in your heart – it will help to heal. Thanks for letting me see your angel and share your journey. I think of you often.

What beautiful words, from a beautiful friend. Thank you.


Sara said...

I truly understand what you are saying. There is no getting over it. Like you said, I am not sure getting back to 100% is possible at this point. It sucks, but I understand.

And I have called in "sad" a few times too. It is okay.

Hugs to you.

Erika said...

Sending you a big hug. I have lots of days where I "call in sad"- it is normal and healthy. I love your photos of Dylan- such a beautiful boy!

Domestic Goddess said...

I love your truth in this post and I think it says so much about who you are. You are so compassionate about life and see things that most people don't take the time to notice, that says so much about you. It's an amazing quality but even while you care so much for others you need those days where you can focus on caring about you. I truly believe that Dylan holds part of your heart in heaven with him and I can't fathom how hard that is for you. I am happy to see that you are taking time for YOU though, I hope that your calling in sad days were great days for you to be able to take the time to reflect.