Till we meet again….
When I received a phone call today from one of my staff’s relatives notifying me that the said staff had passed away, I screamed, I was numb and suddenly I felt the urge to use the washrooms.
Then I had to call other relatives to confirm that this information was actually true. I mean, how does someone just die without giving us even a notice. How will I tell my bosses? How will the rest of the staff react to this news? I thought to myself.
As I sat there contemplating on how to break this news, my mind raced back to a few years back when my sister Christine died, just as sudden. I got the news in the morning, and whoever delivered it was very blunt. I don’t ever remember feeling so afraid like I did on that day. This death shook my faith in God, it took me a very long time to accept it and up to date, I struggle with forgiving God for what I have felt was a mistake on His part (I know God doesn’t make mistakes), it wasn’t just time yet, at least, according to me. I still imagine that the Angel that was sent to the ‘death registry’ picked the wrong file.
So I started to compose a text message to the staff, the HR has to say something you know, before the rumors start. I must have edited the text I think five times. I didn’t have the right words. You see, when you are trying to tell people that someone has died, there is never a nicer way, so I just said it as it was. Everyone was in shock.
Over the years, I have gotten used to telling people bad news like, ‘you have been dismissed’, ‘your services have been terminated effective immediately’, without blinking an eye. HR work come with certain responsibilities that no matter how many times you perform them, you can never perfect them. I have dealt with staff deaths severally but each one of them seem like a first, you just never get used to telling people ‘so and so has died’.
And so as we plan to lay her to rest, our hearts are heavy. I see fear, disbelief and pain in the eyes of the staff. All we remain with are the memories.
To all the departed souls, may God grant them eternal rest. And to Lucy, may you rest in peace as you continue to live in our hearts.