Hello readers, how are you today? I hope this blog finds you well, and you’re enjoying your day. For today’s post, I am supposed to start or continue a blog series, and since I’ve only been at this for a short time, I have no series. So let’s start one!!
Now this topic is widely talked about, and there are a lot of posts written on this, and videos out there, but everyone has a different story of why they chose to talk about it. I’m not sure how many parts there are going to be, or when the next post will even be to be honest, but I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with you, and hoping that you gain from them, and it can help you.
I was thinking about this post on the drive to work today, (it’s currently the 18th). This day 1 year ago, I was at work like usual, and I was opening the store. I did my normal opening routine and I had to call my friend who worked at the power company to set up the electric for our home we were buying the next day. It was a quick call, but then as I was counting the drawers for the day, the phone rang. I was a little annoyed because I was in the middle of my routine, but of course I answered it like normal. It was my friend who I had just talked to about the electric. She goes, hey girl, have you not heard? I was like heard what? She then told me that my coworker, and keyholder, Kay, had passed away!! I was like, um what?! My voice instantly cracked and was faint, my heart started beating rapidly, I wasn’t sure what to think… It was a quick phone call again, but she said she would send me a text in a second to confirm, but she had read something on facebook that was alarming so she called to let me know. I instantly started freaking out. I had seen Kay 24 hours before this phone call. I was going into work, and she was coming out of the coffee shop next door because she wanted to treat herself to a chai to start her day. She was normal Kay, so sweet and happy. My friend had texted me back and said that it was true, and Kay had passed away the night before, and if she had any other information she would let me know as soon as possible.
Now I’ll tell you, being the first and only one to know from work is heavy. I instantly called my coworker, and other key holder, but she didn’t answer. I tried calling my boss, but she didn’t answer. I called another coworker, and she didn’t answer. NO ONE was answering….I was alone and upset. I was trying to process everything, but I also had a store to run at the same time. I tried my boss again, still no answer. I called my parents because I didn’t know what else to do, and I HAD to talk to someone. They answered, and I just was just spurting out words, and I think it made sense but I can’t remember. They told me to breathe and go slow, and that they loved me. During the phone call with them, one of the coworkers I called before was returning my call, so I told my parents I’d call back and switched lines. I told her, and I was still in shock those words were coming out of my mouth, Kay passed away. She couldn’t believe it either and we were just on the phone comforting each other.
At this point, I had to open my store. I didn’t want to at all, I wanted everyone to stay away…how could I hold myself together after this!! My phone was blowing up, I was trying to tell my boss, but she just wasn’t answering. Now a few customers were in and out of the store and my mind was anywhere but there with them. I felt bad but I was keeping it together as much as I could, I still hadn’t cried yet at this point. Since my boss wasn’t answering the phone, I knew I had to call our district manager to let her know what happened. I mean, Kay had shifts over the weekend, she was our key holder (manager on duty). The next day I started my mini vacation because were buying our home, so I still had to run the business in the midst of tragedy. So I called my DM, and my voice was probably the shakiest it had been during the whole morning. I remember texting my parents while I was on the phone with her and just telling them how much I loved them. As soon as I hung up the phone with my district manager, I lost it. I broke down and the tears started flowing. It was a relief, but I knew there was so much to do still. The next thing I knew, my coworker who I was on the phone with earlier walks in the door and she bought me a large sweet tea, bless her soul. I tell you, having her there with me was such a help, I hated being alone. Along with my coworker just keeping me company, another coworker came in, clocked in and just started working. I didn’t ask her to, she just did, and looking back, I’m very thankful for that. I had to rearrange schedules, cover all of Kay’s shifts, and make sure everything could run as smoothly as possible. Finally my boss called me back after what seemed like an eternity, I had to say it again, Kay passed away. It still sucks saying it a year later.
Kay passed away from a sudden heart attack that took her life almost immediately. She was at home with her husband and all of their grandkids, she loved her entire family more than words can describe. Her husband was her best friend, and they were head over heels for each other even after all the years they had been together. Kay lived a beautiful life and would do anything for you. She actually gave us an old stove and refrigerator that she had lying around her garage because she wasn’t using it anymore. She was so excited to help us out since we were buying our first home. I still have the stove and fridge and I’m keeping them until they break down completely. I know for a fact that Kay is in Heaven today, and even though we miss her here, she wouldn’t come back after being in Heaven. However, I’m glad she’s there, we will see here again!
I know this may have been hard for some to read, some of you may have left, some of you may of skipped to this ending, but whatever you did, please take this from this post. Loss is hard, loss is sad, but loss is part of life. We cannot escape it, but how we handle it is what’s important. I had to do something I never thought I’d do, but I just had to keep going and press on even through the pain myself and my staff were feeling. They needed a ring leader, and I had to be that. What would have happened if I just said, I can’t do this, and left? What if I didn’t take charge and find the coverage we needed, and let those shifts be missed, or let someone else take care of it days later? I had to train people that day! It was the start of Christmas hiring, and we had a lady coming in to learn the ropes of the company. That’s one of the hard part of loss, doing what we don’t want to do, when we need to do it most. We are strong individuals, even through the sadness of life. Loss has many different parts to it, and I want to talk about them with you through this series. I’m not an expert, but I do have a degree in psychology, I love helping people, so I hope I can help you.
I wish I could say this was the saddest story of loss that I have, but it’s not. It’s no where close, but this story taught me a lesson the other stories haven’t. Not every situation is like this, I understand, and of course, Kay’s family reacted different to how I did, but where we are in life, depending on the situation, is how we are impacted it. We all learn from loss, what will you take away?
Thanks for reading, and I hope you stick around to read the next part of the series. It will most likely, be in November.