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Weekend update

It took a few days for the shock of Rana’s death to pass. Then I was very tired for a few more days — I slept 9 or 10 hours a night and needed a nap every afternoon. That’s passed, and now I’m spending my time finding things to do that take my mind off this staggering loss.

Nikon N90s, 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor, Ilford HP5+ at EI 1600, HC-110 B

I took the week off from the blog, which is why there’s no Recommended Reading today. It’ll probably return next week.

My company gave me two weeks off to grieve, rest, and recover. I wasn’t sure at first that I’d take it all. When my dad died, I took no time off. That was different, though. I knew for months that his time was short, and I’d processed through a lot of losing him before he died. Losing Rana was entirely unexpected and I don’t believe I would have been capable of working.

I did test the waters a little on Thursday. I had an interview scheduled for an open position on my team and I went ahead and did it. I also scheduled an hour with my boss to catch up. I got through them, but afterward I was surprisingly exhausted by the interaction.

So I’m going to take my company up on the second week off they’ve offered. I’ve nothing to do — Rana’s mom handled making all of the arrangements (obituary here) and as far as I know they’re done. All that’s left for me is to show up at the memorial service on Saturday.

I must go. I need to go. But since the divorce I’ve deliberately separated my life from my ex-wife and her family. I’m going to see some or all of them again for the first time since 2004 under these horrible circumstances, and I feel some trepidation over it.

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20 thoughts on “Weekend update

  1. Hi Jim. I truly feel your pain. I am transsexual myself, and to this day I feel the pressure, I’m 67, by the way. I had SRS, 17 years ago. There are no answers as to why beautiful people decide to do what they do. Please Jim don’t rack your brain to try to find a reason why, you will only prolong the pain. The beautiful Rana is at peace.

    • Thanks so much Clare. I’m entering the anger phase — how dare she throw her life away? I’m trying not to hold on tightly to any of my feelings, and I’m trying not to ruminate — I know this will all pass if I let it, and then I’ll just be left with missing her for the rest of my life.

  2. Andy Umbo says:

    Jim, take as much time off as your company will allow. I went through a traumatic experience in my 20’s and I could not concentrate on work, would come in for an hour and then just drop stuff and go home; 10 / 12 hours of sleep, etc. I had a pretty understanding boss, and this was well before mandated policies that covered this type of stuff; I’m lucky I held on to my job. Take the time….

  3. You have described the aftermath of that marriage and the divorce from it, so I can only imagine the anxiety you must be feeling about today’s events. May God’s peace envelop you and your family today.

  4. Ken Bandy says:

    Lots of tough emotions to deal with, Jim. I wish you all the best in dealing with everything.

    I read Rana’s obituary. I had no idea she was an amateur radio operator. I am also a ham. I will submit her obituary to the Indiana Section Manager of the ARRL (national ham radio organization), who will get her listed as a “silent key” (deceased radio operator). She had progressed to an “Extra Class” operator, the top level of license for hams, which is quite an accomplishment, requiring her to pass three tests, with questions drawn from a pool of well over 1000 questions. I am including the link to her listing from the qrz.com website, where amateur radio operators from all over the world can list their information. Her listing can be found here: https://www.qrz.com/db/W9DTF

    Take care, my friend.

    Ken Bandy, KJ9B

    • Thank you so much for seeing that she gets listed as a silent key, and for linking me to her page on QRZ. We talked about her enjoyment of amateur radio sometimes.

  5. Marcia Hummel says:

    Jim,
    So sorry for your loss. Grief never goes away. One just learns to live with it. I lost Bruce 3 months ago and grief comes in waves…some big…some small. One step at a time. Marcia

  6. Carol Rowland says:

    I am in your situation and understand completely. My husband felt ill one Monday night and was gone by noon Tuesday. I entered a state of doe in headlights. Every time a holiday or his Celebration of Life came around it was like losing him all over again but each time it doesn’t last as long. I assume eventually we will both be able to enter society again and interact the way we used to. I am here any time you need me.

  7. Roger Meade says:

    So sorry for your loss Jim. I don’t think we can fully understand the internal and external pressures a trans person must operate under, but the people who love them share a part of that pressure and pain. Best wishes for better days ahead.

  8. Jim, it’s been a little over 2 years since my husband took his life. The first year was like being in a fog. I wasn’t sure what kind of emotion I should be going through. This past year has been anger. But you never know when those moments will sneak in some kind of memory and then the tears just flow. I was driving along the other day and the sun was going down making for a beautiful sunset, then I thought of Brett and the tears just started flowing. My daughter even went into therapy last year because of her dad and also all her medical issues. I went with her for a session and her counselor asked me why I didn’t seek therapy (I guess she could sense I needed it). I told her I wasn’t done being mad at him. I will never know the answer on why and how could he? Maybe one of these days but just not ready. She suggested that I journal so I bought a cool journal but I have only written a few things. Not sure why but this exercise is hard for me to do yet. I am been thinking of you and just wanted you to know that every feeling you are having at this time is normal. Give yourself all the time you need to grieve. That’s nice that your company gives you 2 weeks off.

    • Lisa, I didn’t know that Brett took his life. I’m so very sorry. But thank you for sharing your experience — and for giving me an idea of what to expect. I hope we both find peace in time.

  9. I think that grief and shock is a tricky combination – after all neither is exactly easy on their own! As I think you already know, you will need to give it time. Personally I have found that long walks give me time and space to process, but I’ve no idea if that works for anyone else …

    • I love long walks! The weather has been in the zeros here lately but should warm into the 30s this week, which is barely warm enough for me to brave it.

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