A life lesson learned at the ripe old age of 50. Last week a colleague of mine passed away. A few months back she had had a mild stroke. She went through a stint in rehab then returned to work slowly with half days and then full time. I was given the news of her stroke from another colleague who was nice enough to update me every time she got news. I never reached out while she was off work. I felt uncomfortable doing so even though we go way back. Given I was getting updates I thought that once she got back to work it would be easier to reach out. It didn’t. Days became weeks and then as I always tend to do I over think things and felt embarrassment over the fact that so much time had gone by.
How do I call her now after all this time?
What do I say?
I won’t have that chance now. There’s a lot of guilt in me that I didn’t call her. And for what? Inexcusable. Forget the embarrassment I felt. The guilt will forever bother me. The day the news came I was a wreck and could not focus. I was abrupt with everyone. It was a difficult day. To this day I cannot bring myself up to bring her up in conversation with the colleague that was updating me on her progress. It’s still too hard.
RIP. Gone too soon. You were first and foremost a great person but also a great colleague. It was always a pleasure working with you as you made it very easy. Your demeanor was fantastic. You also ‘got me’… which made me feel reassured. You will be missed.