Tuesday, July 12, 2011

the hardest post

I can't believe I'm writing this.

Writing it makes it real. And I don't want it to be real.

My boss is gone. He passed away over the weekend after a short and difficult battle with cancer.

I knew he was sick. But I didn't know that it was this bad. Or rather, I didn't want to think it was this bad. I knew, and I didn't want to believe it.

When I got this job nine months ago, I accepted it largely because of my boss. A friend of mine had worked under him previously, and she told me he's the "best person you will ever work for." From the moment I interviewed with him, I knew she was right.

He spent years in the film and television industry before coming to our school and launching several degree programs. In the last eight years, he's hired and mentored hundreds of faculty members and staff, touched the lives of just as many students, and been the smiling face everyone knows and loves in the hallway.

He was funny, intelligent, and the kind of manager leader you would want to learn from. He had this way of lighting up a room that I can't describe with words. You could be having the worst day in the world, and after just a few minutes of talking with him, he would make it all better. Always positive - even in his final days, when he was weak and he didn't feel well. Always thinking about others. Just days before his death, he sent me flowers at work to thank me for doing such a good job. Always caring and thoughtful. He was always so understanding and accommodating about my doctor's appointments and missed days . . . as he was struggling with his own health.

To say that this is a huge loss is an understatement. The world is missing one incredible light in this man. He was, without a doubt, the nicest person I have ever met. I have no idea where to go from here - how I go from seeing and speaking to him every day to never seeing him again. I have no idea how to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. It's hard to think about, and I'm not sure the full gravity of the situation has hit me yet. Every time I think I'm out of tears, more come out. I keep expecting his call or his email, and it hasn't happened. It won't happen.

I hope that he didn't die alone. I hope that he died surrounded by family who loved him. Most importantly, I hope that he knew how much he was loved by others, by all of us.

If he didn't, I hope he can see it now.

That's all I can write.

40 comments:

PCOSChick said...

This post has me in tears! I am so heart broken for you. Cancer is so terrible & I hate that too many of us have to deal with the effects it leaves behind, after the wonderful person deals with it,is taken too soon. It is so unfair! I wish I could give you a massive hug right now & be there in person for you. Know I am here for you no matter what. Sadly, I get this oh too well :( xoxo

JustHeather said...

My biggest hardest hugs for you! I am so very sorry for your loss.
I know exactly how you are feeling. I just lost my mom 3 weeks ago and I still can't fully comprehend or believe that it has happened.
There is nothing that can be said or done to make it better. Although, I have found that a small comfort can be taken in knowing that we are not alone.

Dawn said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. What a tragedy. I'm sending you loads of hugs. Take care, Dawn

Lori said...

With tears in my eyes, I see the admiration, respect and love you had for him just by reading this post. I hope your heart heals soon. Just think of the wonderful ways he's touched your life and how you can pass it on to others. What a special gift he was to you and everyone around him. Sending you he biggest hug. X

manymanymoons said...

I'm so so sorry. Sending lots of hugs.

Brave IVF Girl said...

*hugs* This post is a wonderful tribute to a man who clearly many people will miss. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Willow said...

He sounds wonderful. I'm so sorry to hear he is gone.

Sarah Q said...

I'm so sorry.

Loss is so hard.

Tammy said...

He sounds like an absolutely incredible man. I am sure he knew how much he was loved, and I am sure he will continue to feel that love as he watches over all those whose lives he touched. I'm thinking of you, and I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss.

Jamie said...

I lost my father to lung cancer at the end of March. It was a year and a half battle, and I still don't know which is better--his living out that full year and a half, or your boss only suffering a short time. Either way it's difficult. But it does get easier. Of course, it wasn't easy, and still isn't easy knowing I won't be able to see or speak to my father ever again (who was honestly my favorite person in the world). Loss is not easy in the least, but you pick yourself up and over time, the tears and the pain are not as constant. Find comfort in knowing that you were lucky for having known him. You clearly also touched his life in a big way, and from what you say, it sounds like he had a very full life and was very loved. That's all you can ask for.

Rebecca said...

Oh, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. He sounds like an incredible person and it sounds like such a horrible loss for you and for everyone who knew him. Giant ((hugs)) to you and your community.

Diana said...

With tears in my eyes, I offer u a huuuuuge hug. I'm so sorry for this loss. You spoke very nice of him. I'm sure he's smilin down at u right now.

myinfertilitywoes said...

sending you love & hugs

myinfertilitywoes said...

sending you lots of love & hugs

xoxo

A said...

it is so hard to lose a close friend/loved one. big hugs coming your way-

Rach said...

So sorry for your loss. I know it can be tough losing a team member. We've lost 2 at my job since I started working here. One was a mother with 2 young girls. So sad.

Will keep you in my thoughts.

Kim said...

Im so sorry Katie, I cant imagine how difficult it is losing someone so special, not to mention someone you spend so much time with on a daily basis. I am glad you had the opportunity to know each other, even if for a short time. It sounds like he made a positive impact in your life. Hugs my friend.

Danielle said...

I am so so sorry, Katie. Big hugs to you and good thoughts for his family and friends. It sounds like he touched many many people and will be missed tremendously. xoxo

someday-soon said...

I'm so, so sorry! He sounds like an amazing person and his teachings will live on through others for decades to come {{{HUGS}}}

Baby Hopes said...

I'm so sorry - he sounds like an amazing man.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I'm so sorry Katie. I've watched many amazing people lose their lives to cancer, and the feelings you describe in this are so eloquent at a time where it is hard to find the words of how much you can miss someone. It's unfathomable.

bodegabliss said...

What a beautiful post written for someone who sounds like a beautiful person. I'm so sorry for your loss.

annoyed army wife said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this. I can definitely tell from your writing how much he meant to you and what a great influence he was.

Secret Sloper said...

I'm sorry Katie. Losing special people from our lives is so hard. I think if he was the kind of man you describe him as, he probably felt the love others were sending him back in spades. I hope he did, anyway, along with you.

Jem said...

of course he was surrounded by loved ones. A light like that shines bright and ignites the flame of so many others that he can't possibly be alone. Hey, he hired you!

JL said...

I'm so sorry.

amiracle4us said...

I am so so sorry....it is very hard to lose people in our lives, but I know he is smiling down on you now knowing he meant something to you and therefore influenced you somehow. xo

missohkay said...

I'm sure he would be pleased that you're honoring his memory by telling all of us about him. He sounds like such a special person and I'm so sorry for your loss.

lparsons15 said...

I am so sorry, cancer is so freaking devastating. Sounds like you had a great relationship and I am terribly sorry for your loss.

Conceptionally Challenged said...

I'm so sorry, Katie. He sounds like a wonderful person.

Keiko said...

I'm so sorry for your loss... thinking of you.

lowfatlady said...

Sending you hugs and thinking of you, his family, and your work group of people. How sad.

Serendipitie said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss. What a special person he was. xoxo

Browniris said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Damita said...

I am so sorry :(

Kelly said...

I'm sorry, Katie. (((HUGS)))

Jess said...

SOOSSOOOo very sorry to hear this. Praying for you and solace with this circumstance. Hugs.

Gurlee said...

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. It sounds like he was a very special person.

Kelley said...

((((hugs)))) Sounds like he was a wonderful man and touched many lives. Cancer is so unfair and horrible. Hoping you can hang on to the happy memories to get you through the days. Thinking of you. K.

Pix said...

So sorry for your loss, and the community's loss! The amazing thing about people like your boss is how many lives they touch. We can only be so lucky!