I have survived the first week of school. It went pretty well. I missed teaching and the kids. There is something special about the first week of school, when the kids are a little scared and trying to make a good impression.
A lot of my students from last year have come looking for me and have asked how my father is. They knew he was ill, but are surprised when I tell them he died. A couple times little girls have actually teared up.
Being back I knew people might ask how it was to be home and how my father is. What I didn’t expect from people is the comment…Wow you had a really long vacation! They seemed to skipped over the terminal illness and death thing. I had a particularly awkward encounter with my neighbor. First she commented on my long vacation, I said I went home because my father was very ill—he had cancer. So then she asked what kind. I said prostate because I don’t know how to say endocrine tumor in Turkish. She said, oh..that’s not so bad, my father has that, then she asked how my father was now. Dead. I think she has been avoiding eye contact.
On my quest to have a more balanced life, I have been going to bed earlier this year. It makes such a difference to go to sleep at 10 instead of 12. It makes the morning so much less painful. On the other hand, it is a habit that makes mornings come early. It means that by 9 am this morning, I had showered, blown my hair dry, had breakfast, and walked the dog. I had tried to sleep in, but to no avail. I have a wedding to go to tonight. I will have to take a nap to be able to stay conscious past 10!
I had a similar situation when I learned my mother had terminal cancer. Some woman told me that yogurt was a cure! I just tried to remember that she wasn’t trying to be cruel. But you are right, it is terribly embarrassing for both parties.
One time in the US, I was working at a factory and I got a call from my mom to tell me that he had had a heart attack (in the doctor’s office).While I was waiting for the supervisor to tell him I had to leave work, some co-worker came to me and told me not to be too upset because “he is in a better place.” I was shocked and snapped back. “Well, I hope so. He isn’t dead. He’s in a hospital.”
I hope you are coping and of course, the best thing is to work and keep busy. That’s what I found that helped.
Thanks so much for your comment. I know…That Better Place comment makes me want to puke. It is difficult dealing with people who mean well, but who say such irritating things. My condolences for your losses.
Hiya! I found your blog via WP’s Expat Blog post. Looking forward to reading more about your expat adventures.