Today I said good-bye. Good-bye to the workplace I have spent fourteen years within.
It is the right time. The right thing for me now. Time to spread my wings and try new things and hopefully fly. I am going to set up my own consultancy business. In truth, it’s something that I have been considering for some time. If Xavier had lived, it may be a step that I would have taken earlier. It is exciting and terrifying and wonderful. And I have been focussing on those emotions.
But it is also sad. Sad to be leaving a place I know so well, a place that has shaped me, the people who I consider friends. People who showed incredible love and support when we said goodbye to Xavier. People I have, quite literally, grown up with. I have not given myself time or permission to dwell on the sadness.
When there are two sides to a coin, I always choose to spend time with the positive. But there is something to grieve. Sadness amidst the excitement. And, despite the fact that no sadness will ever compare to the loss of my son, I need let myself feel it. I am sad to leave behind this part of my life. As I hugged those I count as friends, not just colleagues, there was melancholy. Of course I would be back to visit, but as a visitor. I would no longer be a part of the team.
Sometimes it feels as though surviving the loss of my son introduced a new contract on how to live life. That I have no right to be sad about anything other than Xavier. That I must focus on the positive at all times. That grief, not directly tied to him, is ridiculous and insignificant. But that’s not how life works. There will be bittersweet experiences in my future. There will be sadnesses, that will pall compared to the loss of my son, but will be sad nonetheless. And I need to give myself the permission to feel it.