I apologise in advance if this post upsets you, but I feel the need to talk about it. I also apologise if you get confused with people - there are only four: Me, and 3 colleagues I have called A, B & C.
I work in a very small office, there are just 8 people (6 women and 2 men) and 3 of us have been there 18 years or more. We are a pretty close-knit team, which of course comes with gripes and personality conflicts, but when the chips are down it's a different matter.
The last few months has almost felt like there's a curse on the place. In the early summer, A's father died, her real father who she hadn't seen for ages; but she and her sister had to do the running around sorting out paperwork while dealing with all those conflicting emotions, and an **hole uncle for good measure.
Meanwhile B's father became ill and was diagnosed with cancer, and went through various surgeries. The rest of her family live overseas so it was really just her going through it all with him.
Then there was my crash in June, which shook people up but they pulled together brilliantly and just got on with things. In the Autumn, A's step-father, the one she considered her proper father, was diagnosed with cancer.
In February, B's father deteriorated, and he died two weeks ago. Her brother and sister were here for a couple of weeks and then went home, so she being single was left on her own with just her dog for company.
Also in February C's mother, who is in her late-80s, was brought down from London to a care home because she was getting increasingly confused, she then fell over and broke part of her elbow and decisions had to be made about care and operations etc.
Two days ago, A's step-father was rushed into hospital, she and her sister were called to say they should get over there, and he died in the night.
This morning B's dog was rushed to the vet's for emergency surgery for an unknown problem that had made him sick all night, and he died during surgery.
This week the rest of us are sitting there thinking "What next.....?" Especially these last 3 weeks we have all felt quite depressed.
I'm not the kind of person to ask 'Why?' I know that this stuff just happens, it's part of life and people cope and get through it. But for such a small group of people, it seems such a high proportion of bad stuff has been happening. I can only say that the fact that we are a close team is definitely a means of support in these times of stress.