Seeking Closure

Train on Brown's Island, Richmond, Virginia
Train Cars on Brown’s Island, Richmond, Virginia; Stylized With Various Topaz Filters Including Grunge Desaturated

My employer (well, former employer) has had a number of layoffs over the years.  People just mysteriously disappeared.  People that I worked with, laughed with, and got to know.

It always bothered me that they just vanished without me even being able to say goodbye, I’ll miss you, and I appreciated the help you gave me.

Now it’s the other way around.  When I left last Wednesday, there was no opportunity to walk around and say goodbye, to thank people for making my job easier, and express appreciation that they were there for me these last seven years.

So instead of ramping up a job search, I spent my time last weekend saying goodbye.  I wrote e-mails to co-workers.  I wrote e-mails to several of those left behind, reminding them of things they asked me for and would likely need during year end.   I wrote my consultants to let them know I was gone and hoped to work with them again some other time.  I didn’t get around to everyone, but I got enough done that the urge for closure is mostly satisfied.

I know that for my former co-workers, life goes on as they know it.  It will be harder because of all of us who are gone, but in the end, things will be the same for them.  They will come in to the same office, see the same people, eat the same lunches.

But I had to say goodbye.  I couldn’t just leave.  People were important to me and I wanted them to know that.  To know that I will miss them.

Because until I told them that, I couldn’t move on.  And now I can.

[Changing topics] The day after I was laid off, I went downtown with my camera to capture Brown’s Island during the morning light.  The shoot didn’t quite go as I expected, but it did serve to distract me from what happened the day before.  The picture above is one of the ones that I took.  The trees were too far gone to be pretty, but the train standing still was something I’d not shot before.  It really appealed to me to stylize it with various Topaz filters, but below is how the original looked in case you were wondering!

Train Cars on Brown's Island in Richmond, Virginia, with minimal post processing.
Train Cars on Brown’s Island in Richmond, Virginia, with minimal post processing.


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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

22 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Hi Nancy, I haven’t been around for a while. I lost all my blog addresses; very tech challenged. :) So sorry to heard that you lost your job. But congrats on so to become a grandmother!

  2. Still thinking of you! At least in my company, all of us were pretty much going out the door at the same time (there were two different end dates – a skeleton crew remained until the end of this month). Our personnel manager convinced the new owners to give us a farewell party. But, it’s still sad because all these wonderful people with whom I worked are now no longer around every day! That’s something to miss. Hugs, Ellie

    • You really hit on it – that’s what I miss the most and that’s seeing my staff every day. The good mornings at the start of each day, asking how our weekends went, and just sharing our lives. They’re little things, but it made it a much better work place.

      Thanks for checking up on me and leaving me notes of encouragement!

  3. Hi Nancy,

    I hope you really enjoy this next chapter of your life and find the most beautiful moments in it. In the meantime, I hope we’ll keep seeing your posts that make us take a pause and enjoy.

    Warmest regards,

    • Thank you, Anna! It’s scary to move on, but it was time. And as always, thanks for the encouragement of how much you like my posts and pictures. That makes me so happy each time I hear you describing it to people. It really does! I’m always awed at your enthusiasm for my work.

  4. For heavens sake! Lay offs are always filled with unanswered questions and projects undone – so sorry this has come to your door. But I always believe these circumstances give us an opportunity to re-create ourselves – the freedom to choose something new.
    May your Thanksgiving day be filled with joy, my friend. K

    • Thanks Kathleen! Yeah, I’m sorry too. I think the biggest disappointment was I had such a good team. We will really miss each other. We worked together very well, seamlessly, and without ego. That’s what’s going to be the hardest to replace. The job itself, the paycheck, can be replaced. The people and the trust are a lot harder.

      We had a good Thanksgiving and I hope you did too. Da’ boyz were wild to go to doggy daycare / kennel, although the beagle did try to escape back out the door with us. They all came home today and they are tired!!! Nothing like non-stop play for a few days to wear them out and help them lose some weight.

    • Thanks! I had a good Thanksgiving and I hope you did too. You’re right – that photo is a good metaphor for these changes. I hadn’t thought about it, but it does. Thanks for pointing that out :)

  5. Hi Nancy! I would have done the same thing too and told those co-workers how much they had helped me through the years. Things like this do not happen enough. Kindness goes a long way! Hugs to you! <3

    • Thanks Valerie! I appreciate your encouragement that it was the right thing to do. Kindness really does go a long way and we cannot be reminded enough that it’s important to practice it.

      Hugs back at you too! It’s been fun to see you wrapping up the garden for this year and of course, the dogs as they watch you celebrating the various holidays!

  6. Every hello has a goodbye…every beginning has an ending. So goes the experience called life. My best to you and yours this Thanksgiving. Even in the goodbyes, there is reason for thanks.

    • Thanks Butch! You’re right, there is always something to be thankful for, even in endings.

      We had a good Thanksgiving and I hope you did also. It’s always nice to hear from you – thanks for stopping by.

  7. I appreciate the efforts you took to contact your coworkers and other work related people. Not having closure can eat at us. So I understand that. And the personal effort and contact? Class act Nancy. I’m sure that many appreciated that.

    • You’re right about my co-workers and consultants appreciating it – much more than I would have thought. I’ve gotten some really nice notes back from people, which was great. Thanks for the compliment about it being a class act. My husband was not happy that I spent time doing it, but I had to and it’s really helped me to move on. So thanks for the “thank you” for doing it. It helps a lot.

  8. Great picture! I´m pleased to hear you had some closure. I voluntarily retired from my job two months ago and I miss my co-workers so much. I was pleased to get an email from one of them today and I skyped with another a few days ago. You are right, these people play a huge part in our lives and it is hard to leave them cold turkey. Life will go on this is true, but some of my best friends are former co workers that I kept in touch with over the years. Take care my friend.

    • Thanks Darlene! I think the seeing each other every day is what we’re all missing the most (based on the E-mails they were sending me today). It’s hard. We’ve been a big part of each other’s life for five years and we worked so well together. Until one or more of us finds a job, we’ll be getting together for breakfast every few weeks. It won’t go on forever, but it gives us time to get used to not being together anymore.

      You take care too. I’m not quite there yet, but hope once I got the job search underway that I’ll have more time for my big list of things I want to get done.

  9. I like the stylizing you did on this. Glad you still had the email addresses, I’m sure they’ll be missing you, too.

    • Thanks for the compliment! Yeah, I was glad I grabbed those addresses on the way out. I’ve gotten some nice responses from the E-mails, so I’m glad I did it.

  10. Hey good luck. When my company shut down a friend gave me a voucher for a pedicure. A completely unfamiliar thing to do as I’d never had time for such luxury. When I filled out the customer info form I was at a complete loss as to what I would write in the line marked OCCUPATION……My life had been so defined by career that I had absolutely no idea what to say. What I learnt was that my mind was freed up to look at possibilities I’d never considered. I wish you all the best and understand exactly how you must be feeling X

    • Thanks Anna! How lovely that the first comment you leave for me would be a great word of encouragement. I said that to my husband the other day, that I wonder if there isn’t an opportunity coming that we would never have considered because of my job. We’ll see what the next few months bring!


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