May 19, 2021:
I knew way back in August that at some point I was going to need a significant amount of time off work, that we’d need to hire another graphic designer to help carry the load, and that after Ed passed I’d need much more than just a week or two of bereavement leave... thankfully I work for a company that is incredibly supportive, allowing me to adjust my schedule in the past and take that much needed few months off. Monday I started back to working remotely and was welcomed with lots of love and enthusiasm. Was I excited to go back to work? Many asked and to be honest, I was nervous and not quite sure how I felt, but I love my job and the incredible women I work with and knew it was the next step in moving forward. Can I laugh and smile and focus, of course... but am I broken and deeply sad and wondering when the next time all my feelings will rise to the surface and come bubbling over, yep. My coworkers know me but they didn’t personally know Ed and I keep coming back to the thought of how you can be surrounded by so many people that love and care about you and your family yet still feel so very lonely. I’m missing such a gigantic part of my life. Today I enjoyed an outdoor lunch with coworkers, many who I’ve only seen once or not at all since March 2020, and a few I’d never met in person yet... it was so nice and overwhelming all at the same time. I pulled out of the parking lot and immediately wanted to call Ed, just like I’d done countless times in the past when I left work. Figuring out each day, easing into things, being gentle with myself and with my boys, and trying to figure out how to briefly respond to “How are you doing? How are your boys doing?” ... it’s all such a process and I don’t always know what I’m doing but as my grief counselor said today “you’re doing it Jenn”. Thank you again to all my Oiselle coworkers for the love and warm welcome back, for allowing me the time and space I needed off, and to our rockstar designers for stepping in and keeping things rolling so smooth and beautifully. Thank you for the hugs today.