This morning I was in a team meeting at work. It was a normal meeting. The third one I had attended to be exact. 3 presentations to listen to and an opportunity to learn more about my team and about my job, this was going to be an easy meeting.
The first two presentations were intriguing. I found myself listening to what they were saying and thinking about how I could use it on my projects I am on. The final presentation for the meeting hit me like a ton of bricks. Why? Two of my team members are working on a project that relates to what Jay did at his job he was at the time of his death. Business continuity planning. In a nutshell, planning for what to do should something bad happen.
Wikipedia’s definition is “A business continuity plan is a plan to continue operations if a place of business (e.g., an office, work site or data center) is affected by adverse physical conditions, such as a storm, fire or crime. Such a plan typically explains how the business would recover its operations or move operations to another location. For example, if a fire destroys an office building or data center, the people and business or data center operations would relocate to a recovery site.”
Knowing this it is no shock that Jay made sure we were “prepared for the worse case scenario”, that being that when either of us died the other was taken care of. He spent the better part of his last 5 years planning for the worse case scenario as his full time job. I remember him explaining things to me like that he wasn’t the only one that had the plans. Every manager had a copy. He had copies at work as well as at home. It wasn’t just about buildings and data, it was also about people. If you think about it, without people you don’t need buildings or data. Or at least in the situation with a company, without people you don’t need buildings and have no one to take care and create the data. At any rate he wasn’t the only one that knew the plan. Everyone was aware of the plan.
Realizing they were talking about what Jay used to do was a trigger for me. A day that seemed normal became full of triggers. I didn’t cry. Infact I laughed. My team members showed a clip from the TV show “The office”, another Jay favorite, where one of the characters Dwight rigged the office so no one could get out yet door handles were hot…smoke was coming out of a garbage can and he even lit off some firecrackers that sounded like gun shots. I wonder if Jay thought of that when he watched the episode. At any rate I laughed. It was like watching Plan A, B, C and D fail and then having to figure out what Plan E was. I read on someone’s Facebook post the other day that if Plan A doesn’t work, you have 25 other letters, keep going. That is so true. And it isn’t even if a plan doesn’t “work” but if you all the sudden don’t like a plan, you can change it.
I digress. I hope that Jay knows that his planning paid off. That telling me and teaching me what he did when he was here has kept Aaron and me on a path towards a good life even though it would be better if he were here. I hope he knows I followed the plan as best I could. Ironically at the end of that “The Office” episode one of the characters Stanley has a heart attack. The connection is one I remembered but wasn’t the focus of the presentation at the meeting. I watched it tonight and when I figured out I remembered right it stopped me in my tracks. For those unaware, Jay died of a heart attack.
The rest of the day was good until Aaron and I got home and I started to sort through the final boxes of Jay’s stuff to go to the basement. I found a little cab car tinker that I had bought Jay when I was at a conference in San Francisco. I couldn’t believe he kept it. I couldn’t believe I remembered the significance. It triggered a memory. It triggered happiness. And at the end of a long day it triggered tears. I miss him.
It seemed to not stop as I went through more stuff. I found a certificate that Jay received for being a “gallon donor” to the Blood bank in the metro. I also found a “Frequent exerciser incentive program” trinket in his stuff. A trigger of pride and happiness. But then it was a trigger or anger. How could someone that was so giving to people he did not even know and focused on getting healthy more than anyone I know be the person that is no longer here. He SHOULD be here.
So here it is. My advice. No matter what the loss, whether of a person, an animal, a house, a relationship or whatever it is we grieve. And we need to grieve fully. And no matter how we try to prevent them from happening or getting to us, Triggers are everywhere.