I have written a lot of posts about stressful weeks and how I need reflection on the weekends to provide me with some calming energy. What I am about to share with you is not only difficult to write about, but fraught with emotions I cannot even begin to explain. I’ll try and give it my best.
This past week was once again met with a lot of stressful and draining moments. However, nothing at all compared with one particular event. As I arrived into work one day I could see on the faces of my colleagues that something was seriously wrong. I pulled one person aside and asked if something had happened. A co-worker’s sibling had died. This news was extremely upsetting; however, as the story unfolded, its sadness morphed into an almost surreal situation. It wasn’t just one co-worker who was affected by this person’s passing; there were five co-workers of mine who were related to this individual. My co-workers were this person’s father, mother, brothers, and daughter. And, to my absolutely horror, the person was murdered, along with their spouse.
I stood in place for what seemed an eternity. I couldn’t move. I didn’t know what to say, how to act, or what to do. So I just stood there, in complete and utter disbelief. It was almost as if pages from a novel had literally become reality right in front of me. I struggled to think of anything I could say to bring any comfort to my co-workers.
The next day, much to my total and utter shock, one of the five family co-workers was at work! I was stunned, a bit thrown off, and confused as to why on earth they would choose to be here the day after such a horrific situation. I hugged my co-worker, provided my sincere and heart-felt condolences, and then said nothing else.
But as I saw my co-worker a few times during the day, everything started to become clear. This dear co-worker was looking for something, anything that had not completely and utterly shattered their world. They were looking for a place that had not changed, that had not suddenly become a nightmare and hell on earth. They were looking for normalcy and stability to realize that not everything in their world had become turned upside down and inside out. That place was our work environment. I saw a few co-workers talking to this dear soul about anything BUT the tragedy that had fallen at their feet. I saw my co-workers being silly and funny and simply trying to show our colleague that they are supported, appreciated, and that good still remains in the world (and specifically, in their world). I decided to join in and tease my coworker about something which brought some grins and a few chuckles.
Will any of this bring their loved one back? No, sadly, it will not. But what it might do, even in the smallest and simplest way, is bring some serenity, peace and comfort to the lives of those affected by the worst possible circumstances they will no doubt ever face in their lives. It is a reminder to everyone that we need to support one another, to treat others with respect and kindness, and at the very least, show the most basic of human decency to our fellow man/woman. Earth angels are among us. I saw them the other day; they were helping a fellow soul feel they are not alone; this, to me, is a sign that goodness can always be found, no matter the extreme circumstances.
I hope you take the time to appreciate that which you know about someone, but equally, that which you do not know about someone. Bringing comfort and compassion will travel farther than you can imagine.