Thursday, 5 January 2017

Decisions, large and small

This morning I received a card wishing me a Happy New Year from Kev's family, a great relief to know that they hadn't forgotten about me (or Kev) and that they most likely found it easier to send a card than to phone. I was quite touched as a card takes more planning in some ways than a call.  I feel now that I should really phone them- and this does give me a pretext as I can thank them for their card, whereas without that gesture I would have feared getting in touch due to seeming too needy. I have to say I will still find it difficult to phone- it is amazing how difficult I even find tiny decisions like that at the moment -but I  will try tomorrow.
Speaking about decisions , tomorrow will be a difficult day as we are going down the the crematorium to look at plaques and monuments and decide  what do with the ashes. I got a call from the undertakers just before Christmas to remind me about this and I know it is something I have to get around to. Just before the funeral someone asked me about what we would be doing regarding the ashes- they actually asked me what I would put on the headstone or plaque.My reaction to this surprised me as I felt anger and outrage... mainly because at some level I was in denial about what had happened. It seemed to be hurrying things on far too much, and to be honest I simply didn't want to accept that my husband was dead and that he would need a headstone.
Another hurdle facing me soon is going back to work again after the Christmas break. I don't want to and it feels just as bad as going back the first time and that leads me to thinking about bigger decisions about my future.I was already burnt out and exhausted at work before Kev died, and I can't seem to generate the energy it requires. Another things that makes returning hard is that we had pretty much decided that I would hand my notice to leave at the end of this academic year. I had even talked to the Principal about this possibility and she had asked me to do so by January to allow them to have time to find a suitable replacement (legally I have until May as I need to give three months notice.) I am now in a different financial position with our income more than halved; there is the small problem of living and also supporting two sons, one who is working part time on the minimum wage and the other at university. I really don't know what to do as I am not sure anyone should stay in a job like mine when their heart is no longer in it.
In the medium to long term I have to make these decisions. At the moment even very simple ones, like getting out of bed or what to eat seem to be challenging on bad days.I feel like I've been brain damaged or something, it is so weird how difficult simple things can be. So for now it is "baby steps" (a friend's advice), a phone call, a visit to the crem and then perhaps in time I can tackle the bigger things.


  1. You have said you have time to make the decision about your job Sue, please make use of it and use the time to weigh pros and cons and possible alternatives.
    I am not qualified to give advice but there is one thing I know for sure and that is not to make big decisions while you are still in this 'never-never land' .
    Have you among your neighbours colleagues friends anyone who is a qualified counsellor, even a financial adviser?
    If so, use them. You'll be surprised how readily people will respond to an appeal for help.
    If there is no-one among this group, how about trying a local church of your choice and asking if they have a counselling service.
    If all else fails try your bank. Some of them have departments who will talk you through possible solutions.
    Whatever you do don't make a hasty decision because you feel pressured. There is always more time than we think.
    You can email me on if you wish and I will give you my phone number.
    God bless you.

  2. Hi Ray,
    Thanks, that is sweet of you. I am not going to make hasty decisions. I am trying to do my best at work and I know they actually couldn't find anyone suitable to cover my four weeks compassionate leave even with supply agencies contacted-colleagues had to step in- so I don't feel bad about staying on until the end of the year. I've got a colleague who is part time who might be happy to take on some of my hours if I want to reduce them next year and I might be able do extra work with the exam boards. I will get the (emotional) counselling at a later stage but I may have to take some financial advice and look at practicalities later this year. Everyone keeps telling me to take some time and look fully at my situation before I make decisions, and I will do that.

  3. You seem to have received good advice about not making big decisions to soon, but concentrate on the immediate baby steps of each day. I wanted to comment on one or two of your earlier posts about your husband's death, but that option did not seem available. I can understand why you might not have wanted comments so soon after Kev's death. May I offer you sincere condolences on your bereavement. Prayers for you and and yours. God bless.

  4. Thanks Nancy, God bless you too.

  5. It strikes me how brave you have been without even realising it. Thank God you are still here, still struggling and still processing each day. Please be assured you are in my prayers. God Bless