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September 27, 2019

posted Sep 28, 2019, 7:43 AM by Christine Roman
Dear Parents and Guardians,

If you have read these newsletters, you know that I am a worry-wart and have dealt with my dad passing away last May. Well, I have come to realize over the past week that those two facts continue to be true. This whole grief process is so challenging, but also so interesting when I am able to put my emotions aside.

Since my Dad’s passing, I have had what I would call a “pit” in my stomach. Most days the “pit” is small but there are other days the “pit” is so big/heavy that I can feel it. On these heavy days, I find myself always on the verge of crying and most often I have a good sob session. Last week, when my sobbing came on, I was lucky enough to have two of my veteran teachers there to comfort me. After these moments, I try to remind myself, that although my dad isn’t physically here, I am me because of his incredible love and impact. I also try to tell myself that he wouldn’t want me to live in sadness. He would want me to live my life, work hard, and make a positive difference in the world.

I have also learned over the past two weeks that my worry-wart anxiety has grown to a new level. I have come to realize that I only have one parent left so when my mom passes away, I will not have living parents. Wow—that hit me like a rock this week. Over the weekend when I saw my mom, I didn’t think she looked well. She also shared she wasn’t sleeping well at night. Then Monday night, she texted me (I call my Mom every night around 8:30 p.m. to check in to see how her day was and if she needs anything) to say that she was going to bed early as she felt like “a Mack truck” hit her and not to call. Well the worry-wart in me immediately kicked in because my Mom never complains about being hurt or sick! Ten years ago, she fell down a flight of stairs while she was at my apartment. She broke her shoulder in two places and tore her rotator cuff, and she never once complained. Until I heard her voice when I called at 8:30 Tuesday morning, I was in a state of worry. It was so great to hear her voice. After this experience, I talked to my mom a little more about my feelings, called my sister, and talked to a few colleagues at school. My mom reassured me that she is healthy and fine. My sister and colleagues were there with a listening ear. I will need to try to not have my mind go to the worst-case scenario when my mom shares she isn’t feeling well. However, for now, I need to tell myself to be thankful.

On Sunday, my siblings and I will head down to my parents’ house to do some fall cleaning and we are deciding what we will do with some of my dad’s clothes and things. We will also go over to the cemetery to visit his grave. This is my first visit since his burial and his headstone being in place. These events will make it feel even “more real” but I am so lucky to have an amazing family, supportive colleagues and caring friends to help me (and the “pit” in my stomach) through these experiences.

Have a great weekend!