I am a hairstylist and I am always busy. Someone is always in my chair. When my dad died I was back to work two days later and worked twelve day’s straight in a row. I had zero time to grieve. I had missed two weeks of work while he was in the hospital and my clients had been patient and understanding but, they wanted their hair done and they wanted me to do it.
So there I was cutting someones hair or coloring it and tears were just streaming down my face. I had no choice because I couldn’t just blow off my business as much as I wanted to. Plus, I needed the money. I needed to work. So client after client I was just a mess. I would try an excuse myself but it just was better to let the tears come.
The good news is I didn’t mess up anyone’s hair. Although I will admit that I probably didn’t turn out my best work during that time but hey! My dad had just died a terrible death and my heart was breaking. I have had most of my clients for a very long time and they seemed to understand and cut me some slack.
In someways I welcomed the distraction . I mean, if I wasn’t working it’s very possible I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed. My dad’s passing was very hard on me and I was in shock. I have to say that the shock was almost more than I could handle. I did get my self into grief counseling immediately because I knew I was in trouble but that only helped so much.
When you are grieving the thing is to just go through it. I had to work so everyone was going see me and I learned to not be ashamed or apologize for it. I wore no makeup for weeks because why? I would just cry it off. There were days that quite frankly I didn’t even shower or gave a shit how I looked. I resented that I wasn’t in a position to take time to grieve the loss of the most important person in my life.
Now, I could have taken time off but my fear was I would lose clients and money and I would disappoint people. I mean, my business is all I have and I have worked really hard to get it to where it is all by myself. I started to realize what bullshit this was. It was more than being afraid. I started to think about how many people I have known who have lost loved ones and went right back to their life without taking time to grieve.
How crazy is that? My dad dies and Boom! Two days later i’m back to work twelve straight days with no day off! My mom dies and Boom! The day after….back to work. I guess my take away is that it is a bad idea to not give yourself some time to wrap your head around it after losing a loved one. Even a week would have been so great.
So it has been a year since my dad died and almost six months since my mom died and guess what? I am taking the whole month of September off. Thats right. I am going to take the time and take care of myself. I am going to take walks, go on a trip, hang out with my dogs, and probably cry a bit….Or a lot.
Hopefully when I return to work I will no longer be cutting through grief.