I think I was lucky because the girls at my workplace knew my son. That really helped. And they all attended his funeral. They all came, closed the office and came. I don't think I would have got through those three months without them. They never, never treated me differently. And that was the thing I had needed the most because I felt different. I felt like the whole world had changed, and I felt like everyone saw me differently.
My boss, Jo, actually came out with an idea. It was cards and she put it to me. She said, "We can get you a red card and a green card and you can put your card up on your desk. Your red card, if you just want to be left alone. And green card, you feel fine," which I thought it was kind of a good idea, and there was a lot of joking around it as well. But, I never needed the red card. I never did. I loved going there. That was really important. I remember Jo sitting them all down and saying this, "Listen, this is how we're going to do this, if she want to talk about it, she will."
The actual CEO of the company sent me a condolence letter and gave me three weeks paid work off. I didn't even have to bat an eye. It didn't affect my annual leave, it didn't affect any of those... The normal sick pay, and things like that, which made me feel like I had a little bit of breathing space. It really did. It wasn't just, "I have to manage everything that's happening in these moments." I also knew my job's safe. And they understand, and they're being really good about it. It blew me away, they were fantastic.
Jo, my boss, was also really good in saying, "Listen, we want you just to do this to start off with." And that's just so that you can get your head around it, because" she said, "I don't know, sometimes you feel confused when you're feeling sad and all that and it's harder to concentrate", and she really was, "Take it step by step. You let us know what you're comfortable doing and what you're not comfortable doing." She was a really big people person as well. And she took the time to actually learn how to help me back to come to work. And she got information and support. And she made sure that everyone had the same ideas that she did, shared the information amongst the other girls in the office. So, they were all on the same... They were all thinking the same way when I came back, which was really good.