With all the various first anniversaries having started, I've been feeling generally disconnected and getting really flat. I've heard through the widow community that some find year two harder than year one. I'm coming to the conclusion I'm in that category.
I've found I've been far more conscious of the absence of Mr Trifectagirl since those anniversaries rolled around - it's like a spotlight has been focused on what's missing. I also think there is an element of slowing down now that all the administrative stuff that needs to happen after someone dies is done. The reality of life without him is coming into sharper focus.
In 2008 both my mum and step-dad passed six months apart. My step-dad's passing happened to coincide with my retrenchment from my job, so I had a payout to live off of. After an intense year, plus the stress of clearing out a property, I wound up taking 6 months off before I felt like I could go back to work.
Since Mr Trifectagirl passed, I've taken a total of 5 weeks off work. Some of the motivation of not taking time was that initially I felt like I didn't need the time off - to keep busy with work and taking on study felt like what I needed at that time.
My body's been saying regularly that I need to take time by giving me recurrent sinus infections, but I've not listened. So now my brain and body have definitively said enough's enough - time to stop pushing yourself.
In the past month I started jettisoning extra load. I first cancelled travel plans for July - 4 weeks travelling across the US alone with a toddler just did not seem like an enjoyable break. Then I dropped one of my uni subjects.
Two weeks later, it became obvious that eliminating those two pressures/commitments was not enough, so on medical advice, I have finished work 11 weeks earlier than planned. I'm disappointed that I won't see out the end of the program, but thinking with my management brain, it's better they have as long as possible with someone back-filling my role to ensure a solid wrap-up.
Keeping healthy for J, and spending more time with him, is much more important right now.