Last night, I asked a colleague how she was doing.
“Just tired of all the sadness,” she answered.
We were at the funeral for a colleague, Ted, who had been at the college since 1977. As a student, professor, director, and associate vice president, he had worked with almost everyone on campus. Those who didn’t know him well still recognized him from graduation where he announced the students’ names as they walked across the stage each year. Others knew him from accreditation meetings, as he guided us through another SACS visit.
Though he had been with the college for a long time, he wasn’t very old. We should have had many more years of hearing his laugh and his “You got that right” when he heartily agreed with something said at a meeting.
But if we’ve learned anything this year at our college, it’s that disease doesn’t care about ‘should.’ It takes when it wishes. This is our second death of a current colleague in less than a year. And it has taken its toll.
So my friend was right when she said she was tired. Both emotionally and physically.
When we have a long period of grieving, it becomes important to take care of ourselves. Yes, we need to grieve, but we also need comfort. Perhaps it’s a long nap. Perhaps it’s a walk in the woods. Perhaps it’s a book. Whatever brings comfort is not just nice, but necessary, in times like these.
So if you are going through a period of grief, I wish you comfort. And remind you to take care of yourself.