The medical center I work for has been going through some changes the past couple of weeks. My boss resigned and then, a week later, her boss resigned. Three of our nurses moved on to other jobs and two of our doctors were let go. Other staff throughout the clinic was also trimmed back. As the face of health care changes so, too, does the medical center I work at. I am grateful to still have a job but we are all a bit on edge and feeling the loss of those people that are now gone.
I’m telling you this because one of the other Practice Managers has stepped up to oversee things while we are going through this transitional time. Last week she brought over one of her new Patient Care Representatives to be cross-trained on our front desk procedures so he can help out when we are short-handed. I worked with him a bit each day helping him set up his desk and printers, showing him where our break room was – little things like that. I found that every time I was around him for a few minutes I’d feel a lighter sense of peace inside and I’d walk away from him smiling and feeling better than I had in months. As he left for the day on Friday he came to say goodbye and to thank me for helping him and I found myself wanting to reach out and give him a hug – and that’s when it hit me like a big, wet towel: His mannerisms and pattern of speech were identical to my brother’s. For the first time in nearly two years, I felt like I did when Johnny and I were together.
I woke up this morning and couldn’t stop the tears from falling. I missed Father’s Day brunch with my family this morning because I can’t stop crying. I feel every bit as bad as I did the week Johnny died – the wound, fresh, raw, and gaping again. Saying goodbye to so many people at work and then being around this young man seems to have triggered something at an unconscious level until the pain could no longer be suppressed: the losses weren’t just at work – they were here, too, in my immediate family.
So, today, after months of moving forward in my grief for my mother and brother and feeling like I was going to be okay, I find myself in the pit again. And I know this too shall pass.
I know that we have to grieve in order to let go.
I know there is a purpose and a plan in place.
I know. I know…
But today I am grieving for all the men I’ve lost instead of celebrating the men who are still in my life. To my “Gramps”, John Kenward, my “other” dad, Rich Mahoney, my friends who would have made great dads, Jack & Tim, and especially to my brother, Johnny: I thank you for all of your love.
You are so deeply, deeply missed.