From the moment we’re born, the one thing we are guaranteed is that at some point, we will die. We don’t know when or how, but we know it is inevitable. Yet when it comes for our family or friends, it’s not easy to accept.
I have only experienced the feeling of losing someone four times. The first time, it was my father; the second time, it was an old friend whom I’d lost touch with; the third time, it was my grandfather, and most recently, it was a co-worker. None of these experiences have been easier or harder than the other.
The thing about working all the time with the same people is they start to feel like family, whether we hang out outside of work or not. The great thing about my job is that in times of tragedy, the people I work with all come together, which reassures us that we are all feeling the same pain, and that someone is always there to talk to or cry with, and that, I think, helps us get through it.
I don’t know the truth behind the details of how my co-worker and friend wound up in intensive care and later in a coma. There are rumors, but I don’t want to speculate on those. What I do know is that she came into my life for a reason. I’ve heard it said that everyone we know is in our lives for some purpose, even if we don’t see it right away.
Her sudden passing has made me realize even more that life is short. She was only 19, which is only two years younger than me. In some ways, though I never told her, I looked up to her because she didn’t seem to be scared of anything. She got out there and lived life, even if it wasn’t how others wanted her to live. She said she was almost ready to join the Air Force, get out of this town and make something of herself.
I really hope that as you read this, a small part of you can somehow relate to the pain that losing someone brings, and that you can reconnect with old friends you never talk to, family members, or maybe even make a new friend, because as I said, life is short, and we never know when it won’t be anymore.
Rest in peace, Hayley. You were too young to go, but I’m glad you aren’t in pain anymore.