Recommended reading / Weekend update

💻 I’m still living in Zoom meeting purgatory after almost two years. I’ve written before about how it’s more fatiguing by far than meeting in person. Rands, a well-known tech blogger, explains how virtual meetings fail to touch all of our senses — and how that makes virtual collaboration less effective. Read What We Lost

Police line
Minolta Maxxum 5, 35-70mm f/4 Maxxum AF Zoom, Fujifilm Fujicolor 200, 2022

💻 Lawrence Yeo has an interesting perspective for writers stuck on what to write about: think about things you care about, and write the advice you would give someone about that subject. Read Write to Give Yourself Advice

📷 In a story that’s like a romance that went bad but turned out all right in the end, Lucy Lumen tells the story of her Nikon L35AF point-and-shoot 35mm camera. Read A love letter to the Nikon L35AF

📷 Mike Connealy put a roll of film through his Kodak Brownie Flash Six-20, a compact, all-metal box camera. Read Heavy Metal Brownie

My therapist said that after a major death, the shock phase lasts six to eight weeks. That’s about five to seven weeks longer than I thought! The shock I felt in the first week was apparently just the deepest part of the shock, which only began to wear off starting in week two.

It’s been seven weeks since Rana died. Most days now I feel terrible, like I’m in pain, except I can’t pinpoint where the pain is. It’s not in my shoulder, not in my foot, not in my hip — but my body feels pinched, as if it hurts somewhere. Or everywhere.

Logging on at work is a blessing, usually. For nine hours I can focus my mind on the work I need to do, and push aside my pain for a while. Except that some days, I can’t manage it very well. Monday was one such day, and so was Thursday.

I’m being transparent at work that I’m having good days and bad days through this grief, and that on the bad days, I’m not very useful. I feel like I’m taking an enormous risk in saying so, but I feel like it’s better to be honest than to have my boss find out I got nothing done on Thursday without knowing that I have been struggling. I am doing the very best I can every day at work. It’s just that some days, my very best isn’t very good. I feel some comfort that key people in my company have given me feedback that they believe in me and want me there for the long haul.

I feel angry with Rana for putting me into this state. Then I feel selfish for feeling that way. I know that these conflicting feelings are normal and I just have to sit with them and let them pass.

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15 responses to “Recommended reading / Weekend update”

  1. brandib1977 Avatar

    I’m glad you’re seeing a therapist, Jim. As for transparency, it’s better to let them know you’re struggling but trying than to leave them wondering.

    If you don’t already, you might try your hand at journaling. It helps sometimes to just let go of the stream of ideas – whether it be in a formal journal or just on a piece of paper. I have always journaled but also went through a phase where I would write the really tough stuff on loose leaf paper and then burn it when I was done. It’s pretty cathartic.

    As always, thanks for the fresh reading material.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I have tried journaling in the past and was never able to stick with it. I’m not sure why it doesn’t work for me. I have had some luck with specific writing assignments from therapists, however.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        It really isn’t for everyone. Perhaps the next time you find yourself struggling with your workday you just pull up a Word doc and ask yourself a question. What is really bothering me today? Why am I angry? What is distracting me? Or something of the like. Give yourself an assignment. Then just write free style. It’s not mean to be read later so grammar and organization don’t matter. Sometimes it helps me to simply get some of the thoughts out of my head. It’s the same concept as making a list. If I write down all that needs done, I can stop worrying about forgetting something and focus in the task at hand.

        Don’t worry Jim. I bet you’re tougher than you think. You’ll get through this.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Believe it or not, I’ve been through worse than this. I’m confident I’ll be ok. This just sucks right now.

          1. brandib1977 Avatar

            I know it does. I’m sorry.

  2. Mark Avatar

    My daughter tried to kill herself over 12 times. Thankfully, she was unsuccessful and has worked through her issues. During therapy, I was asked to write an impact letter to her and yes, I was angry too. Writing the letter was helpful to me.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Twelve times! What an ordeal for both of you. I’m so pleased that she came through and is ok.

  3. John Holt Avatar

    Jim, I read you every day, and really appreciate your honesty and candor. The loss of your Rana makes me aware (painfully at times) of the loss of my Carol, the love of my life, my soulmate, one I found after 40 years and many lost relationships, with whom I had a mere 6 years of life bliss. All that said, I still have moments of real pain and grief, even after 18 years since losing her to health-related causes. I’ve learned that overall the pain of loss subsides, but never ends completely; I just sit through those moments knowing that one day we’ll be together again. Stay strong, friend, and keep sending me messages that help me remember and give me strength.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m sorry you lost Carol after looking so long to find her. Thank you for your encouragement!

  4. Greg Clawson Avatar
    Greg Clawson

    Thanks for the update Jim. Just remember you have many friends here if you need anything.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Greg – I appreciate it.

  5. tbm3fan Avatar

    This fixation of shall we say the younger crowd have for these P&S plastic electronic rangefinders amazes me. Gotta have a Yashica T2,T4, Contax T2, Olympus Mui, XA, XA2, Stylus, or Nikon LF AF and pay north of $200 and more. At 20+ minimum years already the electronics don’t have a lot of life left before they croak. I can think and have tried a few other lesser name brands that do just as well and fly under everyone’s radar and you’ll have to torture me to say who publicly.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Those cameras are fashionable, is all. Guys like us don’t care much about fashion.

  6. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    Jim I think almost everyone is tired after more than two years of pandemic – even us in New Zealand where we have fared better than most. Omicron is now loose in the community, fortunately we are about 95% vaccinated so hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel. Add an unexpected and inexplicable loss to all this and even the strongest of us is going to need some time! Blessings!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Good point about the pandemic. It’s just part of the background noise now and we’re adapted to it, but it is still an exhausting drone.

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