She cocked her head to one side and said to me, 'Sorry, could you repeat that?'
Now, although I am 'admitting' I am a widow, this part of my speech is said with such speed, you need supersonic hearing to be able to 'catch the words'.
I repeated everything, except the widow bit, and she said 'No, you said something else, what was it?'
I 'fessed up and told her the bit I had omitted. She gave me that 'look' that people do and said she was sorry. I tend to get flippant when people say things like that. I am a complex creature, I admit it! I don't want others to be sorry or feel sorry for me. My life is what it is. The judges decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into. ...and then I wonder sometimes if I would just consider others to be hard hearted bastards for not saying anything... It hasn't happened yet, so maybe that will be the subject of another blog...
Anyway, back to my 'interview'. The woman asked me a question. 'So what did you learn from his living, and his dying?'
May I say that these are so not the questions one expects in a job interview, and as a person still going through a grief expedition, not at all something I wanted to contemplate with a complete stranger.
Before long, she had me in tears. She knew which buttons to push, what direction to twist the knife that is my grief and how to make me feel as if I wasn't coping with my world at all. When I tried to stop the flow of tears, she told me I needed to 'sob'.
...as if I haven't...on countless occasions!
We were sitting in a coffee shop and there was no way I wanted to let this woman see how her harsh words were affecting me. I gathered my thoughts, pulled myself up tall, erected my protective wall and tried to get myself together again.
Recognising that she had crossed a line and that she wasn't going to get past that wall I had just put up between us, she said 'Well, thats enough counselling for you today. Now, lets talk about why you want to get a job here.'
There was really no point in going any further. There is no way I would work for someone who would want to find my Achilles heel, who would know just how to create pain within my world because she could.
She tried to create a connection by telling me that her son had passed away 8 years ago, but clearly the way I was going through or handling my grief was incorrect and she hadn't experienced it in the way I had. Read: I was wrong.
As I was leaving, she turned to me and said 'Well, no matter what happens, we were meant to meet today. I was meant to talk to you and you were meant to learn from me.'
And you know what, she was right. I was meant to learn from her, and I learnt this.
*A part of 'putting on my big girl panties' during my grief expedition does not entail telling anyone I am a widow, unless its relative.
*There will always be people who will try to tell me that my way of handling my grief is wrong or not right.
*I don't want to work for anyone who's main objective is to make me feel 'less than', so they can feel all powerful.
*Everyone has a story, but their story ain't my story and mine has no bearing on theirs.
*I still find it difficult to talk openly about my grief with others
*I am doing a great job being who I am and experiencing my grief in my own unique way.
Everyone has a story