Grading While Grieving

I’ve been very busy today, with both grieving and grading.

I’ve spent a lot of time correcting assignments, as well as entering grades, for my Advanced Placement General Psychology high school students. After students submit their final examinations, I’ll be able to calculate their final course grades for this semester. I’m so grateful that the school administration has granted me additional time for completion of this task.

While spending my time grading, I’ve been feeling very heavy-hearted about the loss of my mother. She passed away less than one month ago. I miss her terribly. There are so many things that I want to share with her. I’m still continuing to share what’s happening with her, just in a different way. I very much want her to be pleased by my decisions and choices.

This afternoon, I made the decision to start contributing to one of the charities that my mother so faithfully supported on a monthly basis: Food for the Poor. My mother was completely selfless, always thinking about others before herself.

Neglecting Self-Care

The past few months of my life have been spent with many hours assisting others, including my mother and my daughter. I’m very thankful that I have been able to do so.

Nevertheless, I realize that in doing so, I’ve neglected taking the best possible care of myself. As we all know, you really can’t take care of others if you fail to take good care of yourself.

Therefore, I need to schedule appointments with my neurologist, my gynecologist, and my speech therapist as soon as possible. I also need to have bloodwork completed, having been on Vumerity for a period of three months at this point. Secondary to menorrhagia, I need to have my iron level rechecked.

Engaging in adequate self-care is not selfish. Many women struggle with taking the best possible care of themselves, due to fulfilling their roles as caregivers.

Grieving is Tiring

It’s now been twenty-three days since my mother passed away. I’ve certainly thought about her, in so many different ways, hundreds of times.

I’m finding that this grieving process is extremely tiring, on both physical and emotional levels. It is never easy to experience a major loss in your life. The death of a parent certainly falls within that category.

I’m staying overnight with my daughter this weekend. I’m so thankful that she has good friends who’ve been supportive of her. So many times, I’ve nearly popped my head into what used to be my mother’s room, to ask her if there’s something that she needed.

I’ve definitely been very comforted by so many different memories involving my mother. Thinking about these bring a smile to my face.

I still need to finish grading exams for my Advanced Placement high school students. Thankfully, I’ve been granted an extension for doing so. My concentration hasn’t been the best since my mother died.

Disability Benefits

Yesterday, I had a very interesting conversation with one of my nursing home residents. She shared that she’s very interested in applying for social security disability benefits. This discussion brought so many things to mind.

In 2014, I initially applied for disability benefits. I was, not so surprisingly, turned down. I reapplied, retaining an attorney. In 2016, I was awarded full disability benefits.

The entire process of applying for benefits was most grueling, as well as deeply insulting. I felt as though I repeatedly needed to submit an overwhelming amount of information to prove that my chronic illnesses were preventing me from being able to work.

Earlier this year, I was informed that I would no longer be receiving disability benefits. By having returned to working, only part-time, I exceeded the monthly Substantial Gainful Activity income that is permitted.

Of course, I still have all of the chronic conditions for which I was previously awarded disability benefits. Now, I no longer receive my monthly disability check. In addition, I now need to pay the full cost of retaining my Medicare insurance.

Yes, I’m deeply grateful that I am well enough to continue to work on a part-time basis. Nevertheless, I deeply miss the security of having my monthly disability paycheck.

Pushing Through

Today is Memorial Day. It certainly doesn’t seem like a holiday, for so many different reasons. I’ve been home alone all day, trying to work on completing all of my long- neglected responsibilities for my Advanced Placement General Psychology class for high school students.

Given my recent extra caretaking responsibilities, for both my mother and my daughter during the past few months, I fell seriously behind in grading my students’ assignments. Thankfully, I’ve been granted an extension for submitting my students’ final grades.

Today reminds me of so very many times during my long years that were spent completing my doctorate: hours spent intensely working, set apart from others who are pursuing different types of family-oriented activities. I don’t miss the social isolation experienced during those very long years of extreme dedication to completing my education.

Thankfully, I don’t have too much more to do before I finish wrapping up my teaching responsibilities for this semester. It remains undetermined how college courses will be taught at this point forward, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Honestly, I’m not interested in teaching a course completely remotely. I really miss the direct interaction with my students, whom I have not seen since early March of this year.

I’ve really been struggling today, especially physically. My menorrhagia has recently returned with a vengeance. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to phone my gynecologist. It currently appears that pursuing a hysterectomy remains my best option for treatment of my heavy bleeding. It’s very challenging to be feeling totally exhausted, both physically and emotionally.

Tears Flowing Freely

I’m crying as I write these words. I miss my mother so very much, much more than words can possibly express.

Yes, I have zero doubt that her suffering has now ended completely. For this, I am most grateful.

My mother has always been my rock, my northstar. I feel completely and utterly lost without her.

Nevertheless, I choose to honor her most sincerely by simply moving forward, one step at a time, in my life. I need, after all, to be very strong for my daughter at this time.

Please grant me the strength to keep moving forward, in the very ways that most honor our precious Lord.

Grief and Impaired Concentration

Today, I’m really trying to focus on grading students’ assignments for my Advanced Placement high school students. I’m so behind on all of my responsibilities for teaching this course.

Thankfully, I’ve been granted an extension for my submission of students’ final grades. I have one more week until I need to complete this arduous task.

I simply can’t concentrate today, no matter how very hard I try to do so. I keep thinking about my mother, and how very much I miss her. My life will be radically altered without having her around.

I so want to be able to call my mother. Her voice was consistently reassuring to me. She was my very best cheerleader. I feel so very lost without her right now.