A co-worker passed away at the beginning of November. No, let's call it right: a co-worker was killed in an automobile accident on November 2nd.
I'd worked with him for a year, speaking with him on the phone perhaps six times. All I knew of him was his duties, name, telephone number and email address. I learned from his obituary that he was 34 years old, that he was unmarried but with a girlfriend, a sister, and parents. His photo showed a smiling, good-looking young white man.
He worked in Pennsylvania. I learned of it because a co-worker in Pennsylvania knew that he was my contact in their world and notified me via email. I spread the word on to my team.
But the word didn't reach everywhere. Emails continued for him, asking for his opinion, his help, emails on which I'm copied. Each time, I write the others, in Brazil, Argentina, Singapore, China, Italy, Germany and across America, "I'm sorry but he passed away. You'll need to find another person to help."
He seemed like a nice person. Is that the blandest sort of compliment? He was always responsive and helpful. I'll miss him, for there is another gap, a reminder that as we work, life is happening.
I signed the guest book and sent flowers, and passed on my sympathy and condolences to the strangers who mourned him.
There's really not much else to do.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com