The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY FIVE: THREE DAYS…
Three is my favorite number. It used to be thirteen because I was born on the 13th and it was cool to like a so-called unlucky number. But I finally came to the understanding that three is way better. I find it harmonious to see three-packs of things. The Holy Trinity. Triangles. You get three strikes in baseball to get on base.
And if you use your three middle fingers (not your thumb or pinky) you make a W. And under the W is your palm and I think of the movie It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
(If you can’t figure it out, Google it and go OHHH)
But there is one particular three I don’t like. I find it insulting, soul-crushing, and horrid.
You get three days at most businesses to off of work to mourn and bury someone you love.
Then it’s back to work as if nothing happened. La dee la dee da.
You get three days if your parent or child dies.
That’s it. If you need to take more (which… you do), you have to use your own time or use and unexcused absence.
Three damn days…
Three damn days to cry your eyes out while you try to adjust your life to be without them as you struggle to do this and that and make sure the funeral and expenses are paid for. You weep and worry and face the rest of your life without someone that you cared for so much.
Then… it’s back to the same old nose to the grindstone.
“Hey, sorry ’bout your loss. Your dad, huh? That sucks. Anyway, I need these alphabetized by lunch.”
When it came to my dad, I got ‘lucky’. He died on Labor Day (late that Monday, though the nurse came about an hour later to declare him dead) so I had that Monday off. Three days of bereavement. His funeral was on that Friday and I had to use a vacation day.
Understand, I was going to take that day no matter how you sliced it. It didn’t matter if I got paid for it or not. It didn’t matter if they threatened to fire me or not (they didn’t, they were nice about that. Let me be clear on that).
But three days to mourn someone you love isn’t enough. Three days to not face work and all of the crap that comes with it is not enough.
I lost my father. I love him and he is/was my hero and three days isn’t going to do it. I can’t imagine losing a child and with three days to do it in. They would be lucky if I ever came back. They would be lucky that I didn’t think about going with my child.
But three days…
I come back to work after a week and the first day I’m there, I’m crying every few minutes. I wanted to be left alone so if I did want to shed some tears, I wouldn’t be bothered or embarrassed ( I know, there’s no embarrassment in that but you know what I mean). But what happens? My boss wants me to train a couple of guys to do something I do in case I’m not here. I had to ask them politely that today is not a good day to do it. And as I’m telling them that, I’m holding back tears. Tears are rolling down my cheek as I tell them. They completely understand and walk out. As I’m working, I’m not only mourning my dad but I’m quietly cursing my robot hearted boss who thought that was a good idea.
Hey, let’s make Loyd teach a couple of guys while he’s mourning his dad and about to have a mental breakdown. Awesome. I’m so smart.
The only way I can understand why he would do that is because he didn’t care for his father or the time I had off should have been enough and everything is just hunky-dory.
You know what? It’s not hunky-dory and it’s going to be a while before I feel hunky-dory.
Three days is not enough time to mourn. Hell, three days isn’t enough to enjoy yourself on a vacation let alone try to come to the realization that this person that you loved so much is gone. This person that raised you, that you looked up to, that was your goddamn hero isn’t going to be there anymore. When you catch yourself thinking about going to visit him and then remember the only way you can is by going to the cemetery.
Your life has just had a huge piece pulled from it and has become less there, more empty.
Three days is not enough… and never will be.
I’m going to mourn my father for a long time. I’m still going to think about how much he shaped who I am, how much he sacrificed for me and my well-being, how much of a truly good person he was. I’m going to think about the last time we talked and how we left each other by saying I love you. The last time he was in the here and now.
If you end up having to take your bereavement time for someone you love more than life itself, I’m going to urge you to take your time and mourn. Don’t let the allotted time worry you. And I know this part will be difficult for most but your job be damned. You can get another job. You can’t replace the person that passed. You can’t replace your heart and your sadness.
Three days will never be enough.
-Loyd Elmore Jr
March 20th, 2020
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.