Seeing A Shrink Or Being My Own Shrink?

Lately, I have had quite a bit of time for self-reflection prompted by a series of incidents which have occurred in my family, in my personal relationships, and at work. I think the incidents at work have had quite a profound effect on me. In the last four months, three colleagues have passed on from terminal diseases which were fast and furious and did not leave them a fighting chance. The first to fall this year was M whom I worked with closely and blogged about after he passed. While he was ill, I shared my thoughts and fears regarding ill-health, and the lifestyle changes which could potentially give us a fighting chance. Most of it was directed at someone whom I love very much.


In the last four months, these three vibrant people who were much loved, and had very young families, went across the bridge after a good fight, leaving many people confused and saddened. The biggest anguish for most of us was seeing them in pain and suffering, but perhaps that also constitutes our biggest consolation, that they are in a better place, free from suffering.

Yesterday, management thought it may be a good idea to invite a clinical psychologist to speak to staff and have a grieving session because of the peculiar manner and timing during which all these deaths occurred. At first, we were being silly and asking if there would be a couch for everyone since we shall be seeing a shrink. It turned into a waterworks of sort, as emotions that had never been discussed before came to the fore. I surprised myself by opening up and crying quite a bit. It was embarrassing afterwards, because the truth is that you want your colleagues to see you for the strong professional woman who you are. But I am glad it happened, because I spoke my mind and poured my heart out, I feel as though some catharsis of sort has now occurred within me and I hope and pray that their families find or atleast begin the process, of finding such peace.

You see, I worked directly with M, he reported to me on a day to day basis. As a member of my team, he was quite good-natured and a good fit personality wise. However, I felt that there were some things he could have done better work wise and we had a few disagreements on these issues. People complained to me as well, regarding the quality of his work and in a team where under-staffing is a problem, you want your existing hands to be very good and on top of the issues. My biggest regret is that I did not see the signs of ill-health in the errors that he made, I should have sensed ill-health in the confusion and memory loss. But I did not, and that makes me extremely sad. I wish I had insisted that he went to hospital and had himself checked out. I wish I had slowed down, and taken a closer look. These days, when his children tell me about the various plans he had for them and the future, and how much they talked about these plans and wanted to pull it through as a mark of respect to him, it warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes at the same time.

All I can say is that death is the inevitable end, nobody wants to talk about it; and that’s certainly understandable. But recently I have begun to have conversations of death with God and his universe. My father used to say “Onye kwe, Chi ya ekwe”, which basically means that “When one agrees with himself, his God agrees with him”. I have said to him that I would like to die when I am old and have seen my children and my children’s children. I would like to pass after a day spent with the grand children, reading to them and maybe playing a game of chess with other loved ones (I have to learn, seems like such a good game). Then I shall go to bed and die in my sleep; a happy old woman. So till we see again M, G and A, be happy. Godspeed.

8 thoughts on “Seeing A Shrink Or Being My Own Shrink?”

  1. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. It is so easy afterwards to remember a time when something was out of place and to kick yourself by saying “if only…” but in the true day to day of life those opportunities rarely come up, you put it down to them have a minor illness like a cold or a headache, you don’t ever think that a symptom is going to end up terminal or anything like that.

    Even had you said something, the person that you say it too has to then share your concern enough to go and get checked out. So regrets in these situations are natural. It is like when my cousin Lee died of Pancreatic Cancer back in February I regret that in the year or so before hand I had not insisted on seeing him rather than letting people say to me “see him later” there was no later and I had not seen him in the year from when he was diagnosed to when he died.

    What is 100% sure is that we all die of something and that not many of us get to choose the time, place and method of that event. Even with me and my Sarcoidosis I wonder if it will get worse, other quirks and pains come up and I wonder if they are serious but rarely do I go to the Doctors to get checked out.

    It certainly makes you think though, when things like this happen you look at yourself, your lifestyle etc and worry at the certain things that you feel make you vulnerable, that is natural.

    1. I think your words actually capture my feelings and struggles perfectly. People have said the exact same thing to me “there really isn’t much you could have done”. Regret is really fruitless, but we can’t help it sometimes. Am sure your cousin understood that life happens very quickly and before you know it, one year’s gone! Sometimes it is enough to have someone in your thoughts, even if you are unable to actually visit. Invariably, I am looking to take away several meaningful lessons from this experience. I have to slow down, and I have to stop procrastination.
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

  2. Lovely post. How horrible to have three colleagues pass away within such a short time frame of each other. I think your managers were wise to call in a counselor.

    I think your way of passing–after a day with grandchildren and loved ones–sounds very peaceful indeed. 🙂

    1. I think so too, it is the perfect way to pass, after a lovely day with loved ones, you have ur memories and they have theirs too.

      Who ever got the idea for the counselling session and mentioned it to management deserves recognition because it actually provided an outlet for us.

      Thank you Carrie

  3. “When one agrees with himself, his God agrees with him”. I have said to him that I would like to die when I am old and have seen my children and my children’s children. ………….. Then I shall go to bed and die in my sleep; a happy old woman”.

    All these lines in the last paragraph could have been written by me. My sentiments /thoughts/wish exactly.
    Great minds think alike right? In any part of the world.

    1. It seems like a really morbid discussion. But I honestly can’t think of a better way to go. I agree, at the end of the day,we are all human beings looking to find peace and joy,no matter where we are from 🙂

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