I just received a call from my boss. For them to call on a Saturday means that it was rather important, so I was already bracing for negative news. As it turns out, one of my coworkers, one that came about once a week or to fill in, died in her sleep last night. I mean, this came right out of left field! She was just there yesterday and no one was the wiser to anything at all. In hindsight, I guess she seemed more subdued yesterday than usual, but I chalked it up to it being so rainy. I talked with her though and we shared our usual laugh together about something silly. One thing that stands out to me, looking back, is how I said goodbye to her as I left: usually we all say see you next week or have a good weekend. Instead, I said, “Have a good night,” and she responded with a corrected, “have a good week.” I remember frowning to myself, wondering why I said that instead of the obvious weekend, but sometimes my mouth says things so I didn’t think much of it. Now I feel bad like maybe I gave her bad luck. Rationally, I know that more than likely she had cardiovascular failure in the night (she’d had a stroke a few months ago and refused to take the medicine), but I can’t help but feel guilty about it, like I was partially responsible. I am very grateful to have been able to talk to her and have a good day with her yesterday, and if I knew it would have been her last, I don’t think I would have done it much differently given the way the schedule and the day went.
I can’t even begin to imagine the way her family feels right now and my heart breaks the most for her grand daughter whom she spent the last years of her life effectively being the primary caregiver.
It just doesn’t feel real. The finality of it all. I feel like I’m going to see her next week like normal and we’re going to discuss our LG phones again just like we always do. I don’t even want to think about what will happen coming up here in the future without her presence in our office. You know what she told me yesterday that pierced my heart when she said it? Maybe she knew deep down something was about to happen. We were just talking and half joking as usual, and then she got serious and told me, you know I always value what you say, right? Always. It seemed at the time, out of place and more significant than usual, but as is typical, I didn’t have time to dwell on it because the schedule called me and I was busy again.
Goodbye, Ms. Brenda. I’ll see you again one day and I can tell you all about the phones I’ve gone through and how much I think you’d like them. Requiescat in pace.