Back in 1999, I took a wonderful online class on grief counseling. I learned about different ways different cultures deal with grief and about complications surrounding grief. The thing I remember most is the importance of being with people who are grieving so they can work through their grief in ways that fit their situation. One line sticks with me, many years afterwards, “Bring donuts”. It is a simple way of saying, I care, I’m here to help in whatever way you need.
Today, the Dunkin Donuts in Middletown does not have any donuts. Staff didn’t make it in on time to make donuts, so my co-workers brought me muffins instead.
I arrived at work early today, so I could help with the emergency communications following Hurricane Sandy. The power was out at our house and many of the roads in Woodbridge were blocked by downed trees so I took a circuitous route.
At work, I spoke with other members of the technology and communications teams about which sites would be opening when and how best to get the message out. Then, I got a message from my sister via Facebook. She knows that Facebook is normally one of the quickest and easiest ways to get in touch with me. She asked me to call immediately.
From her, I learned that my mother died last night in a car accident. My sister was very shaken. For me, the initial shock moved to numbness. I told my coworkers and started contacting friends and family.
Perhaps some of the way I process grief is by staying calm and doing the tasks at hand. I’ve stayed at work, hoping that power will get restored soon, and doing what I can from here. I’ve spoken with many friends who are being very supportive, and I greatly appreciate it. We all have different ways of dealing with grief and my calm quietness is part of how I am dealing with grief right now.
Another part of how I deal with grief is to write. I love to write and it helps me deal with these deep feelings. Do not be surprised if I write several blog posts along these lines. Later, when I’m ready, I hope to write memories of my mother.
Over the coming days, I will do what I can for my job, for my campaign, for my family, and for myself. Thank you to everyone who has expressed condolences.