Posted: March 27, 2008 in Journal, work

My manager pulled our group into a meeting at 8:30 this morning to let us know that a co-worker had passed away yesterday.

I didn’t know her very well; we only had the occasion to talk personally a few times, otherwise we just exchanged courtesies during common group lunches and team meetings.   She’d been on medical leave for a year, and then on temporary leaves for parts of a year before that as well.  She’d been battling cancer and a myriad of health problems that come with protracted chemotherapy.  We hadn’t heard anything from her or her family about her status for a long time, and then our manager got the call from her family yesterday that she had died.

My manager had tears in his eyes as he told us, and our admin has been weepy off and on all morning.  Everyone’s really subdued and sad.

The thing about working for a company as large as AcronymCo, is that it seems there is a new “In Memorium” article on the corporate page a couple of times a week.  Just a month ago it was a guy that I’d worked with and even sat next to for years, whom I haven’t had much contact with since I switched organizations.  He was paraplegic (for years, that wasn’t the contributing factor), he was bitten by a brown recluse spider, which reduced his immune system so that he caught pneumonia, and he died.  The day before yesterday there was a “Memorium” notice of a young lady in her early 20’s that died “unexpectedly”.  And now my co-worker’s “Memorium” will show up in the next day or two.

Mortality sucks.

  1. Dawn says:

    Our office got an email on Wednesday letting us know that one of the two guys who died in that freak crane accident in Miami on Tuesday was one of our employees, on the jobsite.

    He worked in a different office and I didn’t know him, but I’m always thrown a bit off kilter when stuff like that happens – nobody wakes up and thinks, “today I will go to work and maybe be killed,” at least not in *my* line of work, you know? It was just so random. I’ve been out of sorts about it ever since I found out, and thinking about his poor family having to deal with it and everything. Pretty sobering.

  2. Jeanette says:

    I work for a very larg medical center and last year one of the survivial flight planes crashed and 5 of our staff were killed. It was very sad.

  3. Laura says:

    Dawn – I read about that! How awful. Your line of work sees a lot of tragedy. I’m so sorry. Also, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO START WRITING AGAIN? Sheesh.

    Jeanette – What is a survival flight? Is that like a med-evac? I’m so sorry for your staff’s loss. It’s so hard and surreal when the folks you see every day are suddenly gone.

  4. Dawn says:

    Argh. I WANT to start writing again, but our computer has completely crapped its pants and won’t even boot up. So now I have to wait until T gets the time to clear it and load everything back on. Le Sigh.

    And yeah, we see a good amount of tragedy, but it’s usually happened to the people we’re there to help out afterward, you know? At least I missed the 9/11 stuff – I was actually hired onto this company because my group lost 10 people that day. My company lost around 300 (one of the floors that got hit). I didn’t know any of them, but it was an odd feeling at first, walking into the NYC offices for work.

    But the Miami guy – that was just totally random. There are certain places I’ve told my boss I won’t go because it’s just too obviously risky, and like I told him – I signed up to be a CPA, not a Green beret. It’s just that nobody thinks of MIAMI as one of those places, which is why I guess it got me a little off kilter.

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