I’ve been a bit down the last few weeks. As many of you have reminded me, grief has its own timetable. I’m still processing. As a psychologist, I’m self-reflecting, noting that I may perhaps be in the anger stage of grief. Being angry doesn’t ease the grief. It’s just a different focus.
Let me explain what I’m angry about today. There’s a life lesson here.
See, today I got the accrued vacation time check for my dead husband. I looked at it and shook my head. He never took off. He worked and worked some more. I’m the same. But let me tell you, it’s not worth it. As I looked at the check, I realized that it equaled the cost of death. It was the cost of services, cremation, death certificates, a memorial, and other such related. You put off vacation, and your payment covers your death costs.
Apoligies, if this sounds too morbid. But that is how I processed the moment. And, I was angry.
If someone had a choice, not taking time off is bad – sometimes people have – or feel they have – no choice.
I should have taken more vacations, but grad school and work in some fields has to be done without big breaks. And I got the degrees I wanted in my field, and worked there for a decade.
But I also became chronically ill around 40 – and it’s been 33 years of no fun. You never know, and you could have fallen off a glacier, but I wish I’d done a lot more fun stuff before it became impossible for me to do.
And I also knew that if I wanted to be a physicist, I needed to keep my nose to the grindstone for a very long time, and I did. Those years when I was working were exciting, good, productive – and stressful, especially after we started having kids. We took vacation time with them – mostly after I was sick. We took what we thought was enough before then – but I’ve told my kids (and they’ve been all over the place, and DON’T have advanced degrees) to have more fun.
I’m very sorry for your loss.
It’s not too morbid. It’s a good share that others might benefit from knowing now.
SMiLes Dear Miriam How Blessed Humanity Is God Yes to Have
Hard Working Health Professionals Like You Giving Your
Life For the Health And Well Being of Others However
That Truly Shouldn’t Mean Sacrificing Your Life
As i Surely Learned That Lesson too Yet
i Felt There Was No Way Out For
me As i Didn’t Have Valuable
Skills Specific to Market
To Take me Anywhere Else
Then that Could Provide Health
Care for my Wife Who Didn’t Have
Disability Compensation Then for Her
Epilepsy And Of Course Coming Close to
Release From the Golden Hand-Cuffs of
The Promised Retirement From Federal
Employment Including Health Care Insurance
And Life Insurance Guaranteed too And Yes True
Being on the Autism Spectrum Not Yet Diagnosed
Just About Made me Only Viewed Yes As A Valuable
Only To Be Used Instrumentally
As A Work Place Tool For Everyone
What i Learned Since Work Almost took
my Life With A Fear to Say No Before it Was
Almost too Late is We Become Our Environments
And Now My Environment is Play And No Longer Work
And It’s Really Sad that in 500 Square Miles or So in the Deep
South With All the Silent Frowns Shuffling By in Walmart AS Such
i am Literally the Only Person Public Dancing Just because it Brings Heaven
For Real Within to Feel Give Share Care and Heal For others too in SMiLinG
Warmth Lord Yes
Even Just Exposed
to A Freedom of
Dance ThiS Way
Yet You See Humans
Become Work and Forget
How to LiVE A Life of Play Real
Meanwhile the Rest of Nature
Dances And Sings Free With Fly
Overs By Birds and What They Freely
Leave Behind Jesus F in Christ Glad
Yet On the Other Hand
Again It’s the People Like You
Who Persevere That Actually Save
Lives too So Yes Kudos For Your Sacrifice
Yet if You Quit Tomorrow And Move Down
Here or Over THere to Paradise FOR REAL and Retire
Early i Surely Won’t Hold Heaven Against You For Real…
Yet True Truly Happy People Make Other People Frown too…
Again Oh No
Sadly Yes Yes
A Life of Play
EYeS of A Child
Returning in Wonder
Land And Oz Without Poppy Fields too..:)
Your anger is understandable, and so very human.
I’m so sorry.
No need to apologize; what you said is true. Even my Dad put it succinctly: “You work your ass off for a huge paycheck, but you spend all that money for medicines when you get sick.”
Also, there’s the reality of work — which he puts this way: “When you die, your company replaces you with a new one the next day. But your family? Ah, they’ll remember you even beyond the grave.”
Also, extending my sincerest condolences over your husband’s passing.
I think it is moments like that that put life priorities into perspective. Thank you for sharing your insights from this difficult time.
I am so sorry for you. There’s nothing I can say that will make it any better.
But… take your vacations. Hell, take every sick day you can get away with. (I called them “mental health” days.) Nobody ever died wishing they’d spent less time with loved ones, had fewer adventures, or worked more overtime. It all ends up being “The Things You Didn’t Do When You Could.” And then suddenly, often unexpectedly, you can’t.
I totally get it largely as I was fortunate to retire early and spend time on my own projects.
I am sorry for your loss. And I can certainly understand your anger. You are processing and your feelings are appropriate, I believe. I pray that you move through this phase and on to good memories. Just hold to this life lesson for yourself and take all your vacation days and use the sick days, too. I will be thinking of you and sending good energy.