Tag Archives: colleague

A Final Goodbye

Jo WallworkYesterday I learned of another friend and colleague losing her battle to cancer. She had fought so hard, for so long and passed away in her sleep on Saturday, July 25th.

The hardest part is knowing that barely anyone knew at work that things had taken such a drastic turn for the worst. I had just messaged her on Facebook last Tuesday after reading she had been in the hospital. I wanted to make sure she was doing okay and it wasn’t anything serious. I wish she had responded. I wish she had told me that things were getting bad and let me come visit her.

Dearest Jo,

My heart aches terribly to hear of your passing. I know how hard you fought and how strong you’ve been over the past couple of years, stronger than anyone else I’ve known. You always had a smile on your face and never let this cancer thing get the best of you. Even though you were fighting the toughest battle of your life, you always made sure the ones around you were doing okay. It always amazed me at how confident and put-together you always were.

I remember working on the holiday guide with you. We were constantly at each others throats when it came to that specific project. We even yelled at each other on the day of the launch. But you didn’t let that come between our friendship. You were that type of person; you kept work and friendships separate, although they were interconnected. I envied that about you.

My dear friend and colleague, Jo I will truly miss you and thank you for being a friend. I thank you for all the support and love you gave me over the few years we had known each other. I thank you for letting me get to know you and appreciate what a wonderful person you were.

I wish your family, your son, your spouse and everyone else that had the privilege of getting to know you, strength during this difficult time. I wish them patience and time to accept and handle the pain they are feeling. But most of all, I wish them memories and love for you, for which I know they will forever keep in their hearts.

Rest in Peace, Jo Wallwork. You will never be forgotten.

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Why Do We React To Death The Way We Do?

No matter how many hours I sleep, I constantly feel tired. That’s been the norm lately post-surgery. I haven’t felt like writing, reading, talking or doing anything else for that matter. Even at work, my mind hasn’t been able to focus. My mind continues to wander towards the two recent deaths that have happened; my colleague and our family dog. I’m still in shock by both and don’t know how to deal with the loss.

Yes, life goes on and days will pass. But when your heart and mind is stuck on a person or thing that is no longer alive, it is nearly impossible to know when the day came and went.

As I was growing up I saw both my grandparents passing away. Sure, I was sad and had a lot of empathy for my mother. But I did not cry at their funerals and it did not affect me as much. Was it because they were old and had lived full lives? Or was it that I wasn’t close to them that it didn’t affect me as much?

Maybe I was much younger when and didn’t understand death and the effect it had on a person if it ever took place?  Or maybe after becoming a mom, I am just too sensitive (D constantly reminds me of this when I’m bawling my eyes off during sad commercials and soap-operas).

But I wasn’t close to Trish or Hogan either and both of their deaths have brought me to tears over and over. I simply cannot speak of either of them without wiping back tears. Hogan was old. He lived a full life. But Trish was young. I didn’t know her personally. I wasn’t very close to her. But I knew her for many years.

So why did I cry so much for Trish and Hogan and not for my grandparents? Why do we reach differently to different types of death?

A Final Goodbye

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Today we bid a final goodbye to a beautiful soul, Patricia Soriano. She was a caring soul and brightened everyone’s day. She was a hardworking colleague and was ever ready to help in any way she could. She had this smile that would brighten even the dullest of days or cheer-up the worst moods. She was indeed an angel in disguise to all the lives she touched.

I don’t do well at funerals as it is and to see her or know that she was the one in front of me would absolutely tear my heart into pieces, so I’ve decided not to attend her service today. Although, I was never very close to her in my personal life, I still cannot seem to come to terms with the fact that she has passed away. Such a young and good-heart woman passing away, is just not normal and if it is, it shouldn’t be!

So as I sit at my desk. while my other colleagues attend her funeral service today and bid their final goodbyes, I close my eyes for a minute of silence in her honor and bid my goodbye to her as well.

Patricia, you will forever be missed but never forgotten. You were one of the sweetest, most caring and darling persons I’ve ever worked with and met. Your passing away is still a shock to me. But once I can come to terms with the fact that I will not see you again and all of this is truly a bitter reality, I promise to come visit your grave and give you the proper goodbye that you so dearly deserve. May you rest in peace and may your soul find eternal bliss and may you shine down on all the lives you’ve touched while on earth as you did in your present life.

I send your husband, family and friends my deepest sympathies and lots of courage, strength and peace as this day and the rest of their lives pass without your presence.

Rest in Peace Patricia Van Helvoort-Soriano.

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Heartbroken Today

It’s New Year’s Eve. We should be bidding farewell to the previous year and celebrating the beginning of a new one. But today I am bidding farewell to an amazing person. A person I didn’t know personally but only professionally. A person I would love to call my friend. A beautiful girl who touched everyone’s heart she met. I wrote about her back in August, but just got this update about her now…

I am completely devastated and heartbroken today. I was recently told her fight with leukaemia took a turn for the worst and she was going to be taken off life support today. I don’t understand why these things happen to such good people. I don’t understand why it had to be her. She was such a kind person with a smile forever on her face and a zest for life. And even though leukaemia had cursed her, she never lost hope and was always positive about it. She wrote about her battle. I’d like you to visit her blog and read her story.

She’s such a brave and amazing person. I’m going to miss her dearly. I wish her family lots of love and strength through this difficult time. I wish a miracle could happen and heal her of all her pains and illnesses and she would wake up after the life support came off and was fully recovered. I wish I could give her a big hug and tell her how amazing she was. I wish she would email like she used to and bug me for reservation dates at work and then be ever so thankful for me “working my magic” as she always said.

I’ll miss you Trish. And although we weren’t the closest of friends, I want you to know that you were one of the best people I have ever worked with. Lots of love and prayers your way. I lit a candle for you today and will keep it burning with the hope that you miraculously recover. God bless and lots of love.

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Today, I am in tears. My heart is heavy and my mind confused and frazzled. I don’t understand how something so terrible could happen to such a beautiful human-being. This is not someone I am terribly close with. But everything I know about her and have learnt over the past few years of knowing her confirms that she is one of those people that are perfect or appears to be. She’s got class, a warm heart, respect and kindness. She’s a good colleague, friend, worker and probably a good sister, daughter and wife. She has one of those killer smiles and personalities that make you want to smile just for interacting with her.

My not-so-close friend and colleague was recently diagnosed with Leukaemia. From her respond to my email earlier today, she mentioned she was feeling slightly better today after a long-few weeks. It’s probably due to completing her first round of chemo. I don’t know. I don’t know much about cancer or Leukaemia for that matter, except the few articles I read after hearing this horrifying news today. She’s supposed to begin another round of chemo in the near future. But I’ve been told, she may need a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, she has a sister, who we’re hoping will be a match. If not, a few of her really close friends, husband and even boss are going to be tested to try to see if they’re a match.

At this point, if her sister isn’t a match, even I would go and be tested. I mean, how could I not? She’s just that type of person, that you just want to do anything you can to help her get through this. I can’t help but cry. I mean, how? How could someone so nice end up with Leukaemia? It just doesn’t make sense! Never in my right mind would I have imagined something anything terrible happen to a person like her.

I wish I was closer to her; I’d be by her side and hold her hand and make her laugh and forget all of this is happening or ever happened. I’d tell her that this is a massive bump in the road but all of us people that care for her will guide her past this. I’d tell her that after all this is done we’d celebrate like crazy teenagers. I’d tell her…I don’t know. I don’t know what else I’d tell her, except that she is an amazing person, doesn’t deserve this and she’s always in my prayers.

I’ve never had someone close/not-so-close to me diagnosed with cancer. I have but I wasn’t aware of it until it was all over. But this is happening now; which may be why I’m so emotional.

Please pray for my friend. Please send her blessings and duas, as am I.