Last month, my sister passed away. I never planned on talking about something this personal in one of these posts, but I also never thought something like this would happen to me. Never say never.
This series is about my first year as a new professional – triumphs, failures and challenges. It would be inauthentic of me to share a post with you about how to manage the end of your busy semester or the best ways to motivate your student workers when my life has profoundly changed. I really thought about phoning it in this month and giving you some version of the aforementioned. But I decided that it’s no good for me or you to write a half-baked, generic post. So here we are.
I won’t say that I’m expert on grief, or on managing your work life in the face of tragedy. I will say that there is hope, each day is a little bit better, and that you’re stronger than you think. If you’re experiencing a loss or another life-altering situation, remember that work is just part of your life. When your world gets flipped upside down, it can seem like the most insignificant part. You are a person first and an employee second. Give yourself the grace to have a really bad day, to leave early, or to not go in at all.
Most days, I’m at my best at work. My job gives me plenty to do and keeps my mind busy. I appreciate quiet mornings at my desk with my coffee and detailed tasks that require all of my attention. This might be true or completely off-base for you; there is no right or wrong way to grieve through tragedy. If I can offer one piece of advice, it’s to do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
When you lose someone, your life stands still but everything else keeps moving. You still have all the same responsibilities, deadlines and problems you did before, in addition to the tragedy and loss you’re experiencing now. It seems surreal when your world has profoundly changed but life goes on for everyone else. I know that eventually, life will go on for me too. Until then, I’m doing the best I can one day at a time.
This post is part of the Emerging SA Pro series following 4 awesome people: Aracelis, Emalie, Felicia, and Patrick, as they blog monthly about 1 year of their journey as either a new SA Pro or SA grad student. We are proud to help them share their stories as they break into our field.