I just found out today (this morning ... what a start) that one of our long-term (close to retirement) engineers just died last night. Ironic thing about it was that he was playing basketball last night with us and left early because he thought he pulled a muscle in his shoulder (I should have known).
He knew a lot about our industry. Sure he got long winded in every conversation he had, but that's just because he had a lot to say.
I guess I am having a tough time coping with it. I was the last one to talk to him last night. That bugs me the most. He didn't even make it home last night. He pulled off the side of the road, called 911 and they couldn't revive him. So literally I was the last person he talked to him unless the paramedics had the chance.
I don't know whether to bust out crying or to just go home and sit in a dark room all day. It's true that life is a treasure.
Sorry about putting this on everyone here, but I had to get it out somewhere and the workplace isn't always the best place to show it.
That is a tough and eerie situation. I cannot imagine what you are going through right now. I can assure you that this is a great place to bring up this topic. Think about where else you could easily find such an ecclectic grouping of individuals with different perspectives on the situation. I just hope that we all give this thread the dignity it deserves.
My personal view of death is that the typical American outlook is one of greed. We grieve for the deceased. We wish them here. The simple fact is that regardless of everyone's religious beliefs death represents only a transformation of state. If you focus on the fact that his pain and suffering that this world is so apt at dealing out is over, you will find it much easier to deal with a tragedy (for us) like this.
I hope that this helps. It has helped me in countless situations already in my short life. I only hope that I can look at the situation the same when I am close to my "transformation of state".
William T. Thorn, III
Cliff Pennock Administrator
Posts: 10933 From: Haarlem, The Netherlands Registered: Jan 99
Boilermaker, I am very sorry for your loss. My recommendation would be to bust out crying AND go sit in a dark room for a while. But then come right back out and be around people that mean a lot to you.
PLEASE, do not have guilt that "you should have known." It is way easy in retrospect to see the whole picture, but as things are happening it's not obvious. So please don't lay that on yourself. Other forum members, please back me up with some posts on this one.
What a privilege to be able to be the last one someone spoke to. A vivid reminder to us all that if what we say now is the last thing we ever say to (whoever), may it be something we won't regret. So congratulations to you on that one.
Posts: 97 From: Springboro, Ohio Registered: Mar 2000
frontal lobe has a good point. I've been down the "coulda, woulda, shoulda" road myself a couple of times in these type situations. The problem is things are always apparent in hindsight. Don't feel guilty. You acted appropriately based on what you knew at the time.
Time spent with others who knew him, telling funny stories, just remembering, can be a very fitting tribute when the time is right.
Posts: 31663 From: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Registered: Apr 99
Boilermaker, although you're hurting now, and nothing is going to make you feel better for awhile, take solice in the fact that your co-worker spent his last few hours with people he chose to be around. He was with friends. You say you were the last person he probably spoke with. At some point when you're ready for it, that should give you some comfort. Comfort in the knowledge that your friend had last spoken with someone who genuinely cared for him.
How many people pass away lonely and forgotten, with nobody to mourn their loss? Your friend was NOT one of those unfortunate people. That says a lot about him, and it also says a lot about you. Yes, it hurts bad now, but it only means that you're a decent human being.
Posts: 255 From: River Falls, WI Registered: May 99
Boilermaker, Maybe if you were a medical professional you could have told the difference between a heart attack (I assume) and a pulled shoulder muscle. But it may have even fooled a professional (back me up, Frontal Lobe), given your friend's age. I'm just saying that you can't blame yourself. When you are at work, and you tap into information and pointers he gave you, he'll still be with you. Take care. Mike
Mar 18th, 2000
frontal lobe Member
Posts: 9042 From: brookfield,wisconsin Registered: Dec 1999
OK, I am going to admit I'm a doctor just for this one thread, because otherwise I really am just one of the regular fiero-loving guys on the forum. I admit it to say that if I had been in the exact situation I can't even say that I would have picked up on it if he said pulled shoulder muscle. In the office I would, but in the context of with friends playing basketball in someone with no history of heart problems, I can't say my radar screen would have been that sensitive. So I'm just saying, be sad absolutely, but to feel guilty over what you should have done really is imposing an unfair standard on yourself.
Posts: 899 From: Riegelsville, PA, USA Registered: May 99
Celebrate the life he had instead of mourning his death. He will always be with you, maybe not in body, but in spirit. Remember him and cherish the time you had with him, and he will always be alive in your heart. Although death is a hard thing to deal with sometimes, in the end it always makes you appreciate the people that are alive even more.
Placing a reference to a movie seems a little awkward but in the Movie, "Meet Joe Black" I was moved by the words William Parish (Anthony Hopkins) spoke during his last minutes with his daughter.
I want you to know how much I love you. That you've given a meaning to my life that I had no right to expect, and that no one can ever take from me.
No -- I love you so much and I want you to promise me something. I don't want you to ever worry about me. If anything should happen, I'm going to be fine and everything's going to be all right. (a moment) -- And I have no regrets.
Susan is in pain now, she can't summon an answer.
And I want you to feel that way, too.
I love you, Daddy --
That's why it's okay.
They drift into silence.
After a moment.
A long silence, Susan smiles.
It's a good feeling, isn't it?
Life is precious! I have a wife and two beautiful daughters 3 & 4 years old and all I can say is I try to live life one day at a time hoping they see the love and warmth that they put in my heart.
I don't want to have any regrets...
[This message has been edited by b_b_a_d (edited 03-18-2000).]
Posts: 4635 From: Mashpee, Ma. USA Registered: May 99
If you feel like crying, then cry! It almost always makes me feel better. I've had people close to me die before too, and it's a strange feeling.... Just take it one day at a time. Remember the good times you had with them, and hold those memories forever...