Last week, one of my coworkers left this world very suddenly. On Wednesday, she was here at work, in what seemed to be perfectly fine health. By Thursday evening, she was gone, the victim of a brain aneurysm.
Even though I work in a massive corporate headquarters complex, everyone knew and loved her. She worked in the company store, usually at the register, so pretty much everyone has talked to her at least once. And she was hard to forget, too! She was a compact little Hispanic woman with a huge smile and a bubbling personality. I don’t think I ever saw her with even a bored look on her face, much less a sad or frustrated expression. She always looked like she was thrilled to see you. She’d chat with everyone. Her pleasantness was unassailable. Even after the roughest day in the office, if you visited the shop on the way out and saw her, you’d leave happier.
She was an older woman, perhaps in her 60s, but she was certainly far too young to leave.
I talked to her on Wednesday. I bought some cookie ingredients, and she was behind the register. We were laughing about a terrible wisecrack that her husband had made some time ago.
And then, the next day, I got the news via e-mail. I won’t get to laugh with her again.
I’ll miss her, even though I realize I barely knew her. I can’t even imagine how her family is dealing with the suddenness of her passing. However, I think I’m glad she went suddenly. She was never ill. I’d like to think that this is because her happiness was truly unassailable. I’d like to think she was smiling right up to the second that her brain switched off.