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How Do I Answer?

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Well, I figured I dipped a toe in the water the other day when I made my first post. Reading through all of the other messages and responses has been very helpful for me, so perhaps it's time to jump in with both feet.

The first few weeks after my mom passed were awful, but I was home and with family and that helped. I've now been back in the UK since the first of the year and have been on a roller coaster ride like I've never experienced before. The first few weeks I felt nothing - absolutely nothing. Truthfully, it scared me. I thought that if I couldn't feel anything, I must be in such a bad state that I couldn't even identify how poorly I was. I knew it would catch up with me though, and it has. The past week has been nothing but tears; it started when I was doing taxes and had to go through the books and receipts my mom kept for me (she took care of some of my financial things in the US). It's been downhill since then.

Today, I went in to work only to find that I have to fill out a "questionnaire" for an all-day work event I have to attend with the COO and our senior leadership team. I'm really having a hard time with one question - "the best thing that happened to me outside of work recently was:______". My definition of "best" is probably quite different from anyone else right now. My honest answer is "the best thing that happened to me outside of work recently was that I didn't breakdown at the traditional Christmas Eve get together with my family.". Somehow, I don't think that's what they're looking for. I'm afraid leaving it blank will cause me to be put on the spot at the meeting, with a request to answer it personally in front of everyone. Any suggestions?

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Hi hikedenali,

It would be great if you could write what you feel and true to your emotions. It would help me talk more about my own feelings which you have already done here with us. So why not with your colleagues. I am sure they will understand.

Good luck,


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Maybe you could think of how to phrase it in a positive way if you are worried about being too open with a big group

eg Having the support of my extended family at Christmas following my mother's recent passing.

People will understand what you mean. Hope it helps.

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Hi hikedenali,

I am so sorry to hear of the recent loss of your mother. At this point in your journey, I think that it is absolutely fine to put, like Susie said, "having the support of my extended family at Christmas after my mother's recent passing," or even, if you don't want to "get into it," "having a good Christmas holiday."

I am sure your coworkers will understand, and hopefully will not put you on the spot or require extra information.

Talking about it does help, though. That is why this website is here! =D We are here, and also of course, anyone whom you feel comfortable talking with.

It is all about YOUR comfort level, not what other people think of your grief. At this difficult time, it is hard, but important to remember - accomodate YOURSELF. It is NOT selfish to do so.

take care,


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