Friday, November 6, 2009

What is Normal?

Hello my blogging friends.  I think I am going to be able to get back into somewhat of a regular routine again.  As you have read in previous blogs, I have been dealing with a hard situation.  Now I can tell you the real story, what I was unable to say before.

I work as an Executive/Personal assistant to the CEO of a group of five companies. The job is varied and challenging because my boss is a mover and shaker in the community where his business are located. But, it's the "Personal" side of the equation that is sometimes difficult in to explain, so here's how I try: 

I answer his phone calls, but I also do his grocery shopping sometimes when he wants to make dinner for his wife. 

I get him to sign off on large company invoices, but I also write checks out of his personal checkbook, have access to all his personal financial information and know his personal credit card number by heart. 

We buy corporate gifts at Christmas to give to his managers, but we also buy beautiful pieces of jewelry for his wife and daughters and GPS for his sons and toys for his grandkids. Then I wrap the gifts. 

We have worked together for quite some time and he often refers to me as his "day" wife. His wife calls me her friend. I am part of their extended family. 

Over the last year, the office has been pretty lonely because last December he started not feeling well and wasn't coming in as often. Many, many days my work consisted of taking whatever he needed to address to his home and we would sit at his dining room table for several hours drinking coffee and working. All year long both his wife and I have shuttled him to doctor's appointments and encouraged him to eat better and try to exercise and do his physical therapy so his back would feel better. 

He had two surgeries on his back to try to get some pain relief but still has had a persistent pain on the right side of his body that the doctors could not diagnose. 

On October 19th my boss was diagnosed with cancer. He was told that he probably had around a year to live, even with treatment. We (both his work family and his relatives) began the process of getting him out of all his various community and other activities and preparing for the life he would have for the next year. 

Instead of that year he was told, he lived 6 days pretty well then suddenly deteriorated and was back in the hospital barely conscious. He died October 31. 

His funeral was yesterday. To say that my life has been consumed by this for the last couple of weeks is a bit of an understatement. 

Some of you know that my brother in law died in a terrible accident at the age of 39 this past April. I thought then that I might never clear my head again. 

Now I am dealing with yet another loss and this affects my job. I'm sort of feeling like I have nowhere to turn to get away from grief. 

I took the day off from work today because I just needed a day to gather myself back to life outside of all the preparations and the grieving. And, to have some quiet time to think about what the new normal will be once I go back into the office on Monday. 

My life feels a bit surreal right now.


  1. Helen, I am so sorry for your loss. Please take good care of yourself as you deal with these events.

  2. Oh Helen, what a terrible loss. I am so sorry - I can't imagine what you are going through right now. Be kind to yourself, and hang in there.

  3. Oh honey, I'm so sorry about your loss. Grieve- you have to. My throughts and prayers are with you and his family.

  4. Helen, I feel so bad for you. I've been MIA from my blog because a good friend got similar news and has about 6 months they say. In any case, I am sending positive thoughts your way.

  5. Helen, I am so sorry to read this. You are in my prayers.