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Grief and the bank – revisited. Wednesday June 18, 2014

In Early March I wrote about my experience of dealing with the Estates Department of the bank my late uncle held his account with.

The bank (Nat West), have been unfailingly kind, helpful, professional, supportive and empathic: something which, these days, we no longer expect to find.

On Friday I needed to contact them again (because, as many of you who have done this sort of thing know, winding up an estate is a very long drawn out process).

Again, the person I spoke to was helpful, professional but also warm and friendly. In the course of the conversation I mentioned that I had blogged about how good they had been.

There was a slight pause and the lady said "That was you? One of our staff found that blog and our manager pinned it up on the notice-board with a note to say that this is how we know we are doing our job right.

"It made us all so proud" she said "And it made me cry."

Which made me feel very humble – because all I'd said was "Thank you; good job."

A lot of the time at the moment I can't face people in real life. I can just about cope with a telephone conversation and (thank goodness) I can still write, but I was feeling rather guilty about physically isolating myself so much and withdrawing from the world while I recover.

Knowing that the writing is reaching even people for whom it was not intended is really quite powerful medicine. I'm feeling a warm glow and even a little pride. The feeling of worthlessness common to depression just got eroded a little more.

So we're all more powerful that we think we are. In these days of the internet, emails and the phone, we have to work really hard to isolate ourselves completely. Reaching out is easier than we assume it is – and we never know who we will touch when we do reach out!

A Moodscope member.

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Mary Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 8:06am

You can find the original post on 5th March.

Anonymous Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 11:01am

Well done you! Permission to stay in bed as long as you want to, permission not to answer the phone at any time, if you so choose. Permission to do something nice for yourself at least once a day and to do something you enjoy, even if that is looking at a blue sky. Your words touch me. Keep on healing in your own time. penedawn

crafty wee midden Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 1:13pm

Mary, just to say thank you for what you write, and my condolences; I had months of negotiation with banks etc when my Mum died two years ago, and know how long it takes, and the stress of it all.....right now I am in the midst if sorting out lots of different things as my husband of 34 years passed away three weeks ago. He as my soulmate, sweetheart, best friend, and Im overwhelmed with both the grief and the trying o sort things out. I had a lovely gesture, from someone I dont even know: I bought a fountain pen to be engraved and the seller insisted on not charging me. There are some very kind hearts. Sending you some cyber hugs Alex

Quacko Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 1:18pm

Mary- I think this is a wonderful post. One of the issues I have been going through for almost ten years now is working with people that simply do not do their job. The stress of working with inept, lazy people who create more work and an unpleasant, unhappy work environment really adds up. Your acknowledgement of someone really helped them- I completely get it. There is so little emotional reward in work these days- especially when you work with people- that it is great to hear that you are appreciated.

Anonymous Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 3:13pm

Mary, Do you have another blog your write on that is yours in addition to guest writing on this blog? If so I wonder how I could go there to read. Thank you

Anonymous Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 5:33pm

WOW! I'm really impressed. Well done, Mary.

heather Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 8:03pm

Alex, my heart goes out to you. Surely this must be the thing we all dread most in the world, losing a so much loved partner, as it is inevitable that one partner will go first.
I just can't imagine what you must be going through and I am sure we all send our love and sincere condolences.

Anonymous Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 8:09pm

Thank you, Mary. With so much poor customer service these days & the ease to complain through letters, "reviews," etc... I'm sure it meant a lot to the employees at your bank to be complimented. Instead of complaining, maybe we should all try to thank those who help us & do their jobs well. A little kindness goes a long way and, while it is appreciated by others, it also can make US feel a bit better, knowing that we have, perhaps, brightened someone else's day.

Mary Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 8:14pm

Hello there Anonymous. Yes, I write my professional blog. You can find it at but, while the writing style is similar, the subject matter is very different in that I am an Image Consultant, and so write about clothes, fashion, hair and shoes. If you're a girl you might find it relevant and amusing; if you're male, less so!

Anonymous Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 8:18pm

A great postscript to the original post this. You can have the draw bridge tightly pulled up and even pop some piranha's in the moat, just to be sure, yet it's still possible to reach out, in some small way, as you say. Nice one Mary x

Mary Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 8:25pm

Hello Alex, please accept some gentle hugs in your time of grief and loss. Our deepest sympathies to you.

Mary Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 8:32pm

Glad you liked it! Trust you're feeding those piranhas on more than redundant apostrophes!!! (sorry everyone who's saying "uh?" at this; it's part of an ongoing conversation elsewhere. Just ignore it!)

heather Thu, Jun 19th 2014 @ 6:34am

Great outcome from your original blog, Mary. Heartwarming. It is always so important to remember to say thank you and to acknowledge kindnesses and if we can do it in writing, so much the better !

heather Thu, Jun 19th 2014 @ 6:39am

Good one, Anon.

Julia Thu, Jun 19th 2014 @ 9:26am

What good imagery Anonymous, drawing the bridge and putting piranhas in the moat for extra self protection! The we can reach out when WE feel we are ready to

Dande Lion Sun, Jun 22nd 2014 @ 12:41pm

always better to light a candle than curse the darkness. that you felt able to do that in your grief is testament to your character. x

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