Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Wearing different hats ...
Its been a funny old day. Work is as chronically, manically, insanely busy as usual and that is unlikely to change any time soon, so one has to 'suck it up' and get on with it.
In addition, however, to my relentless workload, today I have assumed the role of Counsellor and Solicitor in equal measure. Lunch time found me drafting a letter for a family member who is going through an absolutely horrendous divorce. He has sacked his own solicitor and needed my help to respond to his ex-wife's solicitor. I'm not too shabby on the old letter writing front, and having worked for a firm of solicitors myself for 16 years, seven of those doing fee earning work, I was able to cobble something together something suitable for him.
Last week, a colleague and good friend of mine suffered the very sudden and unexpected loss of her father, to whom she was extremely close. As you can imagine she is, in equal measure, distraught, confused, heart broken, traumatised and bereft. She had to visit the office to collect a document and I had the opportunity to sit with her for a while and chat with her. She spoke about her loss with such a haunted look in her eyes, that my heart felt heavy for her. She is still very much in shock as you can imagine and is experiencing such sadness at not being able to say goodbye. So very sad. I let her talk, quietly holding her hand and letting her know that she could say anything she wanted to and I wouldn't judge her.
People have different ideas as to what constitutes grieving. She said she felt terribly guilty if a couple of hours had passed when she hadn't thought about him. She was finding it hard to do every day things like watch television or listen to music as it just didn't feel right. I told her that in my humble opinion there is no right or wrong way to grieve. There are no rules. All the things that are continuing to go on around her - the demands of her children, the bills to pay, petrol to top up, shopping to do - are all life's reminders that life goes on regardless of loss.
For the first time since losing my own father nearly twelve months ago, I felt like my experience could help someone else. I could empathise with her. I knew her pain like it was my own. We managed to laugh a little, the first time since her father had passed, she said. Just that one comment was worth it.
So today I have worn many hats..... Mum, Partner,Sister, Secretary, Colleague "Solicitor", "Counsellor" and Friend. I wonder which one suits me best?