I usually follow the rule of not blogging about work or the family. It seems to have worked for me so far (in the brief time I've been blogging). Today I will break that rule. On Tuesday, November 14 a co-worker and friend died suddenly of a massive heart attack. She was 41 and leaves behind a 19-year-old son, a husband, her parents, a sister, a brother, and many, many others. I won't name her out of respect for her family. She was a good friend, a conscientious co-worker, and a wonderful person. She touched many lives in a quiet way. I've had to tell various clients of mine with whom she worked about her death and they all had nice things to say about how pleasant their interactions with her had always been. She was a smiling presence in the office and is conspicuous in her absence. I like my job and when I got up in the morning I didn't necessarily think "WOW, I can't WAIT to get to the office" but I also didn't have strong feelings against going there. When I was there it was a pleasant place to work with chit-chat, smiles, and occasional laughter. All the joy has been sucked out of the office now. On Tuesday we will close the office and attend her funeral en masse and then it will be time to return to "business as usual" but I don't know if we can right now.
Even though many of us spend 8+ hours a day with our co-workers we may not see them or think of them when we aren't at the office. I know that, in general, I don't. We all go off to our own lives at night and on the weekends and often our lives are quite different from our co-workers. Now I can't stop thinking of my co-worker and her family and work will never be quite the same.