Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Crying in the workplace

THURSDAY, April 15 – The NOS foreign correspondents are back visiting at headquarters and I will have to address them at some Amsterdam hotel. This is the first time they’ve seen me since last year, and their support from a distance has been heartwarming. The plan is that I’ll start off the morning with a few brief remarks related to Jennifer’s death before we get down to the nitty-gritty of the meeting.

Unfortunately, I’m overcome by my emotions and this despite my rehearsed talk, despite just the few short sentences I had intended to utter. I thank them and tell them how we’re doing at the moment and I tell them I’m looking forward to a challenging program – a day full of debate, but then I choke up.  A colleague takes over for me and I sit down.

Why the tears? Because at that moment I realized that a foreign correspondent is only able to do his or her work when the home front is covered one hundred percent. When you can be available twenty-four seven because your partner takes complete care of the children. For years, that was the way I had worked:  it was single-mindedness bordering on monomania, because Jennifer had allowed me to. The same is true of the many colleagues who work abroad.

Without Jennifer, I would not be standing there.  I knew that and so did they.

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