I put the shop keys into an envelope walked out of the house in my slippers and dropped them into the letterbox just down the street.
It's taken me since April 20th when I received the postage paid envelope to do this.
On 17th April I read the letter which said I they could no longer hold my job for me because of the amount of sickness time I've taken but when I was ready to work I was welcome to apply for any available positions.
I want to write a letter telling this charitable organisation how poorly my colleagues treated me when I went back to work. I haven't done it yet. I keep drafting snippets of remembered fury and pain in my head but I haven't managed to get them into my macbook yet. Maybe it doesn't matter any more.
I don't care about the job. I've finished with that place and I couldn't go back there for all the pay rises in the world. Financially it's messy but we'd rather I was sane than bringing in a pay check.
I used to love my job. The first year there it was great. Something I'd never even thought of doing before and so much fun. I laughed so much. I met the man I will spend the rest of my life with. I learned to manage people and run a business. I learned about customer service. I learned to wash my hands regularly after sorting through donations. I made friends. Or I thought I did. I have come away with one wonderful poppet and one good friend and learned that people can be absolutely utterly crap when it comes to death and grief.
I met with the new area manager before I went back and I tried to explain how things were for me, how I was feeling, how I thought I might cope and was asked how they could help me. And they took it all the wrong way. When I tried to go back I was made to feel guilty for still
grieving. I was told that I had to think about my colleagues, about the business...
"You're not the only woman in the world to have gone through this".
Those words still grate. That woman will never realise just how much I know
that I'm not the only one. But I was the only one at that time, in that place, in that much pain who had recently buried their dead baby in the earth.
In the few days that I tried to go back I threw myself into work, I tried to chat to the people who said they didn't want to talk about my tragedy.
"I don't want to talk about babies all day"
(Yup, same woman) I listened to them moan about the mundane things that people complain about and I was screaming on the inside, "It doesn't matter!"
And it doesn't.
When I got the letter I wasn't sad, I didn't cry. I already knew I wasn't going back.
One volunteer who hadn't been around and hadn't been told asked, "Where's your baby?" "He died and we lost him". I had to leave the shop at that point to cry. I was standing sobbing and my boss told me to, "Go and have a cup of tea". Nothing more. Two days later I was crying again after telling the area manager that I couldn't stay and my boss rushed to hug me. In front of the area manager. Obviously I still have issues with the boss I once thought was a friend but in the end it doesn't matter. She is not worth my anger, my time or my energy. I'm learning to let it go.
I saw the area manager once more before the letter terminating my contract. I told her I had never felt so unwelcome anywhere in my life. In another letter I was promised that she would ensure that I was welcomed back when I decided to return to work. What nonsense.
write that letter if only in the hope that the next woman to go through the loss of her baby while working for that company will be treated a little more gently. It's not about sick leave and phased returns, it's about people.
And that's what matters.