Around 11am today my boss called me to let me know that our coworker, D, had passed away this morning. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer and had a few other health problems as well. When I finally heard the news my first thought was that I was glad he wasn’t suffering anymore. I had visited him at the hospital two weeks prior and it was heart breaking to see a once strong robust man looking so small and unable to speak clearly because of the pain he was feeling. It made me sad. I had seen him day in and day out at work for 15 years. I remember those earlier times when he’d take out his pipe and smoke while he worked on some drawings or suddenly got in his country music mood and he would play the tunes loud enough so I could hear the words clearly in my office.
We didn’t always see eye to eye and I sometimes didn’t agree with his temper and some of his choice of words at work, but he was always thoughtful and kind and caring. In his slightly rough way he would show you a softer side of him. He was the one person in our office who would always remember someone’s birthday. He would laugh whenever he would see the look of delight on my face when he happened to drop a Kit Kat on my desk and he knew that I was more a fan of cheese filled sweet bread rather than fruit filled. When my boss (the owner) was out of the country and I had to tell D that I had had a miscarriage, I wasn’t sure what he would say, and I remember his voice softening and telling me not to worry about work and to take all the time I needed. It brings tears to my eyes now just thinking about it. I’m going to miss seeing him at work. Even though we sometimes butted heads, I realize now that I had more of a soft spot for him than I thought I did, and that like everyone else at the office, I half expected him to come back into the office saying he had beat this cancer thing, just like he’d kept other health issues at bay. He always seemed to come back. And I think in a way, a lot of us at the office just hadn’t quite wrapped the idea around our head that this time he would not.
I don’t know what tomorrow will be like walking into work and knowing that we’ll never see him sitting at his desk again, or having him pass by and start a conversation or hear his unique laugh or sometimes slightly improper jokes. And I sit here thinking and wondering if I am experiencing the same thing that many other people who have lost someone have felt…sad that I didn’t cherish/appreciate each moment with him/her just a little bit more. Sad to think that what we often times seem to dwell on more in our day to day lives are other people’s little annoyances, rather than trying to see and appreciate the better side of someone.
My prayers tonight go out to his wife and his family and his little pooch Margie, because undoubtedly their loss and pain is greater than mine. I hope that God will bring peace into their hearts and that his memory will live on for a very long time.