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How on earth do I respond?

I lost my grandmother on Thursday night. It’s a profound loss for me and I’m really struggling at work today. I have to be here because I’m a temp and I don’t have any kind of sick or bereavement leave. If I don’t work I don’t get paid. It really sucks because I probably shouldn’t be here, but I’m intermittently busy enough to take my mind off things for a little while here and there. I haven’t dissolved into a puddle of tears so far and I think I can hold it in until I get home.

Here’s the problem: Almost nobody here knows this has happened to me. I don’t know what to say when people ask me how I’m doing or how my weekend was. I feel like a huge liar and that everyone can tell when I tell them that I’m fine or my weekend was nice. These are very nice people that I like a lot, but I want to scream that my life has been torn in two and that, even though I have moments where things are basically ok, mostly I want to crawl into a hole for about a year. I want to ask them to leave me alone because my short-term memory is shit right now and it’s interfering with my ability to do my job properly. Everything is taking longer, which is a change from my usual. I almost caused a very uncomfortable moment when a co-worker said something about being out on Friday and having noticed that I was off that day, too. Totally harmless observation. I wanted to say that I wasn’t off enjoying the weather, I was getting my ass kicked by a mortuary and walking around in a daze.


I feel so awkward and disconnected from life and the usual goings on around here and I hate it. I don’t know how to fit in. The clock is my nemesis and laughter hurts my heart. I know this is part of how I do grief and that it isn’t permanent, but it’s just so fucking hard. I’m putting one foot in front of the other because that’s all I can do and hoping I don’t find major fuck-ups a week from now.

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