Monday, November 17, 2008

A Season of Grief

Nothing has been the same for about 6 weeks.

I sat at the same desk with the same view and the same teammates for 3 1/2 years. Somehow there was comfort there. We had been through a lot in that amount of time. One woman survived cancer treatment. Another had a house fire. A gentleman struggled with a prodigal daughter who received some inpatient treatment. Another guy welcomed a new daughter into his family, as did I. Let's face it. I'm sure I wasn't a picnic on most days as my tummy grew bigger and I grew more uncomfortable. Somehow they walked with me through that time and supported me.

It wasn't just the team either, it was also many friends in the department.

Life is different now.

About 6 weeks ago, we were split into new teams, given new managers and moved to a new building (where one wonders if the sun has risen yet come 10 am). My purpose here is not to complain, just to state that life is drastically different.

I didn't realize it was possible to grieve in transitions such as these, but it has definitely taken a toll. On my first day moving, I found myself fighting back tears as I carried my box of personal belongings across the street. I was physically exhausted by the end of the week and ended up grateful for a day to rest as my daughter fell ill on Friday, and I stayed home to care for her. I spent the day processing.

We've settled in alright to the new area. When an old friend comes for a visit or we venture across the lot, it's like a reunion with the hugs and greetings.

Unfortunately, another wave of grief has come. In the form of layoffs. It's hard to say 'goodbye' to friends. People that walked with you on the hard days and had a kind word or prayer for you when you felt you just couldn't go on anymore. I had lots of those days in the last year and now I am hurting for those forced to go. They won't be there any longer to offer their encouragements.

At this point, I must acknowledge that they served their time as God's instrument in my life. I don't want to see them go or let them move on. I also have an ache in my heart, knowing that leaving is not their choice, and they are grieving in a place where I can't just walk by and offer my prayers with them and my support on a daily basis as they have done for me.

I know this is a season. But it is a difficult season of grief. A season of contemplating what 'ordinary' individuals do to move us along in our lives. A season of dealing with life when those precious people are no longer around.
Yes, nothing is the same. I am not the same because of their presence in my life.
"Thank you for that, dear friends."

My team - "Team 4" (Looking back, I really think we should have come up with a cooler name than that!)

"Home Sweet Home" for 3+ years, also complete with a perfect view of the mountain range