Working on moving on

When is it appropriate to “move on”? What does that mean anyway?

I’m very grateful my employer has been very sympathetic and would have given me far more time off than I’d be comfortable taking (silly, I know). I had booked lots of leave days in January anyway (use them or lose them), so the practical bit of my mind shifted a couple of those days around and arranged to get a laptop so I could work from home for the first couple of weeks too.

Why? you may ask.

I knew that being with and supporting my wife (henceforth ‘J’*) was important, traipsing to and from hospital several times, making lots of cups of tea, cooking and caring generally. However, there is a limit to how much use I felt I could actually be – no real nursing required and as I said in previous posts being in limbo wasn’t really conducive to a proper grieving.

As I said it was my bloke response. I knew I wasn’t going to be totally effective working from home (certainly wasn’t doing much more than email correspondence and commenting on a couple of documents), but felt I needed a way of keeping in touch with a couple of big projects I’m involved with and if I’m honest and grownup it was definitely part of wanting to keep in touch with reality and providing a distraction from/excuse for not facing up to too much uncomfortable emotion.

Last week I had meetings and commitments, so ventured back to the office. It also gave some space to J to entertain herself with things (like watching DVDs, listening to audiobooks, etc.) that she felt she couldn’t with me ‘working’ in the home. So, all in all easy to justify. However, it was tougher than I expected, to be honest. Keeping concentration and focus was tricky and completely exhausting (part of the reason for the gap in blogging, sorry).

Was I forcing the pace of ‘moving on’ by working on? Have I missed something? Probably to both of those. I do feel guilty that I wasn’t here when J came back from the doctors and cried.  By being otherwise occupied I feel that I’ve probably not allowed the space for discussions about emotional issues that J wants. We have had discussions – a couple even at my instigation – but not substantial and usually skirting around the main topic of this particular miscarriage, e.g. adoption, practicalities of appointments/next steps with various clinics and specialists.

What am I afraid of exactly? Partly it goes back to the not being able to feel involved in such an early pregnancy. Can I be upset enough – you know to that mystical appropriate level? If I’m too upset do I have the right to be as upset as I might feel when I haven’t been going through what J has physically and therefore directly more emotionally?

I’m certainly a sulker and bottler of emotions. It gets to the stage where I daren’t uncork the bottle though. I’d rather take them away and bury them elsewhere. Trouble is they do seep out of the sides… last weekend someone I didn’t really know – had conversed with online and respected as a professional colleague, but also as a decent chap (also about my age) – suddenly died. This almost completely tipped me over the edge, but in turn led to a complete paroxysm of conflicting emotions and guilt. When reading tributes to him online I was constantly bursting into tears, but how dare I be more upset by his death than that of my own child. I certainly cannot say that I knew him personally, so am I turning into the fraud of the public mourner I was despising in my last post?

As usual, no conclusions in this post. However, I have some days off next week, ironically as J will be attempting to return to work, and would welcome suggestions of what to do to sort my head out before I fill the time with pointless day trips.

*Apologies for those that may know her by a different name (hello, and thanks for popping by to see me too), but she’s blogging more privately than me, so don’t want to leave obvious clues/links.

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