Finally everyone went home. It had been a very upsetting day. We were all shattered and needed some quiet time. I realised I had no idea who had sent flowers , maybe we should have taken the cards so that I could have thanked everyone, because there were so many. I just hoped they would understand and forgive me for not acknowledging them.
Usually the funeral was the final thing , it should help you to start rebuilding your lives but we still had the inquest to come, we had no idea how long that would be. Evidently witnessess would appear and they would try to find the cause of the accident which at this moment in time seemed to be baffling everybody.
A couple of days later I received a letter from Sheila`s insurance company saying they had not been able to find the whereabouts of the car. The garage that towed it away denied having it and also the police. They also wanted the M.O.T and a copy of her driving licence. They were full of apologies for intruding at this time but I appreciated it had to be done. I sent the driving licence etc.. but had no idea what had happened to the car, that was not my responsibility.
There were still loads to do like sorting out her bank account and life insurance. Thank goodness she was such a methodical girl, all her bits and pieces were in a metal box. I then realised there was nothing I could do yet as we wouldnt get a death certificate until after the inquest had been completed.
Lesley and Steve went back to work but I just couldnt seem to pull myself together. My main boss Graham had said when he came to see us , to take as long as we needed. My immediate manager Simon, kept ringing me asking when I would be back. I kept telling him I didnt feel ready and would be back as soon as I felt able. This didnt stop him pestering , so after three weeks off I felt I had no choice but to return to work.
When I got in work I realised why Simon had wanted me back so urgently my desk was strewn with work. I didnt know where to start. The first thing I did was to ring Belgium to speak to the man in charge of things there. First of all he offered his condolences and said he hadnt expected me back yet but was glad I was because they were in meltdown, evidently Simon had said I was the only one who knew that side of things. You would have thought the sales office manager would have made himself aware of such a vital part of the business.
On my desk was several letters addressed to me which by rights should have been sent on to me but no. They were letters from the branch managers who knew Sheila . They were amazing letters saying how unbelievable it was and if there was anything they could do then just to ask, even just to chat. I got stuck in to the work and had just about cleared the back log by time to go home.
I felt drained, as well as the work load I also had to cope with whoever I spoke to sympathising with our loss of Sheila. This I found really hard to handle. I am the type of person that if you feel sorry for me I cant cope with it and the tears start. The best thing for me is to not mention it but of course this is totally selfish. People feel awkward around you and I understand how difficult it is.
It was now December 1984 soon to be Christmas which we normally loved but this year someone would be missing, so we would have rather forgotten about it. Also I had been told at work that in January I would be going with a few managers to Belgium again. I said I didnt think I could handle it but they said they thought it might help me , also that yet another new system was being implemented and I needed to be involved. So I said ok but I didnt want to go.