This morning was always going to be a big morning: I don’t like confrontation, but I knew I had to talk to my psychologist about something; then, I learnt that my grandmother died.
She was unconscious, and slipped away peacefully, I believe. Some of you might remember that we had thought she may die the other weekend, but she pulled through. For me, that was a wake up call: I had thought I was prepared for her death, but grief surprised me. Today the news came as a surprise, but I felt more able to see her death as … well, as something natural and expected, I guess.
I got the news not long before my appointment with the psychologist, whom had upset me at the end of our last appointment by the way he responded to me correcting my name. I went ahead and had the courageous conversation with him before saying anything else. He claims not to have remember saying what I believe he said; my recollection seems fairly vivid, but I accept I could have been wrong. He also said that although I have a strong preference to be called by my preferred name, the name he knows me by is my formal name – he said that, for him, is my name. He said that we were two different people with two different names for me. I said that I thought it was not unreasonable for a psychologist to remember my preferred name, and he said that if he slipped up in the future he would be more aware of it.
I would have preferred an apology, or even an assurance that he would try not to slip up in the future, but at least we’ve had that conversation now.
The progress for me in this was being able to have a calm, sensible and assertive conversation with a person in “authority” without crying or becoming either submissive, aggressive or passive aggressive. I think I conducted myself well, especially within an hour of hearing news of a bereavement.
I could write a lot about the grief I’m feeling, but I won’t, except to say that I loved my grandmother very much and am very sad that she is dead. Some might say I “shouldn’t” feel sad, because (a) she had “left” us some time ago, when she lost her senses to dementia; and (b) she is no longer suffering the pains and indignities of her physical condition. However, I am sad. What I feel is what I feel.
Finally: thank you to everyone who offered support this morning before my courageous conversation with the psychologist. Even a text message! I am really lucky to have people who care that much.
Be well, my friends.