Soon after Liane's death I decided I needed to go back in to work. It wasn't something I decided on lightly - there were many reasons behind it. I needed structure/routine to my day/week. I needed the companionship of the students and my colleagues. I needed distraction from my grief. I needed to do something I liked and needed to try and do it well, as I had before. Some days it worked, others it didn't and throughout I was guided and supported by friends on the staff. I got through it until June when we got our holidays.
September was another new battle. Time had passed and yet the rawness of grief was still very real. I fought through again, this time with more pressure as the work intensified and things "got back to normal". I got to Christmas and faced the holiday season, recently coming back ready for another term. Or so I thought.
Early on morning of the first day back from our holidays we learned the death of two priests on the staff where I work. One of whom taught me when I was student here and another who was a colleague and friend. I'm not sure what to say about them both here - in a way it doesn't seem like the right place for me to talk about them. In short they were two brilliant men - generous, caring, smart, devoted and inspiring. They gave themselves to the school and inspired generations of students.
From my own point of view the week was a total write off. I took a few days to process the shock and then I faced two funerals and two removals in just three days. The community is reeling. Students, parents, staff, friends, past-pupils, neighbours - the grief is so palpable it is almost tangible. We've clung to one another as seemingly endless waves roll over us. I'm lost at times and upset at other times. Selfishly, the haven of work and distraction is now a venue of grieving and sorrow. That's really hard to take.
Much like all grief this will soften and we were get comfortable around it and with it. The school will go on. The lives of the students and the staff will continue. Sometimes life throws such fierce curveballs they hit hard enough to make you lose a few steps. That was last week. This week, we're trying to get back to where we were and maybe next week we can plant one foot ahead of the other.