This month I am returning to work. It’s been nearly 5 years since I went on maternity leave with Conor’s little brother and I left the job and workplace I once loved. I am returning to that same workplace….to the job and building where Conor kicked and lived inside me.
In my old life I loved my job. I was always super proud to tell people what I did and where I worked. I worked with kind and supportive colleagues. When news broke that Conor had died my colleagues organised a service of remembrance. My parents represented me at it and my dear Dad spoke on my behalf. He was moved to tears by the love being shown to us and talked about this service up until his own death.
I returned to this much loved job after Conor died as a changed person. Walking back through the doors that I had left with great excitement a year previously was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I struggled. My grief was still so raw that I had very little energy for anything beyond survival. I no longer felt like the right fit for the job I used to love. Conor’s little brother was born alive a year later and I didn’t return after his maternity leave. While I loved being at home, I found myself grieving my old life. I missed the person I used to be. I felt sad that I had lost so much of myself including my professional identity.
I am now over 6 years on from Conor’s death. It was hearing about a vacancy in my old department that helped me to recognise how much healing has taken place in this time. I was successful in my application and start later this month. I am excited and grateful to be given this opportunity to fulfil the career ambitions that I feared were lost. I have been keeping a toe in the water with some local work but now it’s time to jump back in fully. It feels good to have found some of the old me while preparing for the interview. I expect it will be emotional walking back through those same doors once more but I am happy to be back.
Baking (and eating the bakes) continues to be a favourite activity in our home. It’s no longer the quiet reflective time I once treasured. Instead, baking with two enthusiastic helpers is noisy and messy! We recently made heart shaped chocolate digestive biscuits to mark Valentine’s Day. Mid way through Conor’s little brother asked if we could make one star shaped so we could remember Conor. I am not sure I have ever felt more love for both of my boys.