Author Topic: Kicking up grief...other people's grief.  (Read 853 times)


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Kicking up grief...other people's grief.
« on: January 27, 2016, 11:05:48 PM »
I've had a busy couple of weeks...back in the swing of school.  This semester I have added a 10-hour a week practicum to my schedule.  It happens to be in a program on campus for gifted high school juniors and seniors who essentially go to college, living on campus, taking science and math-based college courses as well as writing, history, etc.  My husband John taught in this program, and it seems like my presence in the department office has become a reminder to the staff that my husband really has been gone for two years.  With his best friend and colleague Paul, my husband co-taught research and writing to first semester high school juniors in this program.  Paul continues teaching without him, but still uses teaching videos about the scientific method that my husband made a few years back.  All of the current students in the program started after my husband died, but they all know who he is. 

Office conversations over the last two weeks seem to revert back to talking about John.  I'm glad, in many ways, that people will talk about him, but I'm seeing other people's grief kicking in.  One of the coordinators in the office, Ann, also close to my husband's best friend, relayed just how broken his friend Paul had been after John's death.  Paul called Ann immediately after hearing of John's death, dumbfounded.  All Ann could say to me was that she had watched my husband transform into a really happy man after he met me.  I see her grief, too.

Somehow, I'm engaging with students and trying to keep myself from taking a step backwards in my own grieving process.  Kids this age are full of energy and a little piss and vinegar, too, so there is a lot to talk about with them.  I'm getting some opportunity to advise students and coach them a bit to keep them on track socially and academically.  There are high academic standards (commensurate with their abilities) and these kids, as intellectually gifted as they are, still need to work on study skills, time management and keeping their rooms in some degree of order!

I guess this semester is going to give me more opportunity to grieve what I have lost and to build on the altered course of my life, a course that changed in so many ways due to the intersection of my life with John's - when we met and fell in love - a life course that changed again with his death.  I just wish I knew when I would be happy again.

Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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Re: Kicking up grief...other people's grief.
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 11:23:41 PM »
Sending you love and hugs, Maureen. I can understand that observing others grief over losing John would be bittersweet. How wonderful that he is remembered so fondly and to hear about the joy you added to his life. Yet I'm sure it makes you miss him all the more and mourn the opportunities he will no longer have to provide a positive impact on the lives of so many.
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.


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Re: Kicking up grief...other people's grief.
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2016, 10:52:39 PM »
Ack.  What a blessing and a curse.  I'm sure it's heartwarming to feel the love these people still have for your husband but seeing their grief firsthand must be painful, too. Hopefully the longer you work there, the less it'll feel like "John's department" and more of a place both of you worked at, just at different times. Also hoping that the students will be enough of a distraction to keep you from spiraling down the grief hole.  Good luck.