Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I sure see my year from a different perspective today.

I lost a great friend over the holidays. We had lost touch in the past year as he was having a rough go and not answering any phone calls or messages.

We were lucky. We worked together for nearly 14 years at a great company. It was one of those companies where the workers love getting up in the mornings. Where everyone said hello in the halls, we all knew about each others' families and cared about them. It was a very close knit company. You would think it was a small company- with maybe 20 or so employees to be so close? There were over 700 employees.

When the company owner was just getting too far along in his years to keep a business running, he sold the company to a much larger corporation. He was diligent in his search for just the right company to take his employees under his wing as he had. Things didn’t work out quite as he thought they would and not even a year after his passing, the company was closed and the manufacturing moved over seas. This was hard on a lot of us. Not just the lay-offs and finding new employment, but also losing a part of the ‘family’ we had become. Most of us still work in this same geographical area and most still in the industry. We try to stay in touch with as many as we can.

When the plant closed, it was hard on my friend Mike. He had just suffered through a tough divorce and was struggling with what comes with that. While suffering through the loss of time with his kids, starting over in a new house, new friends, and his new life, He seemed so sad.

Mike started with another company and all seemed a little better, he was dating and met some nice women. Then one day he didn’t show up for work. They called to see if he was alright.

Mike said ‘I would come in to work, but I don’t know where that is?’ They rushed to his house and he just didn’t seem right. They took him to emergency where it was diagnosed that he had fluid on the brain and was immediately taken in for surgery, brain Surgery. After the surgery, I saw Mike, on rare occasions when the old coworker gang met for drinks; he never seemed like the old Mike. He was visibly unhappy. We spoke of our divorces, our kids, and happier times. But something was behind his smile.

Soon after his surgery, that company also had cut-backs. I tried to get a hold of Mike. No one seemed to know where he was working. I did not know his ex wife well enough to ask. I called, he would not answer, I left messages – he would not return them. I was not alone. Many friends attempted to contact him, with the same result. I had not spoken with him since January of this year.

And then, I received a link from a friend to his obituary. He passed away on Christmas Eve, alone. He was 50 years old. I attended the funeral yesterday. It was hard. The obit did not give a cause of death. And the many speeches alluded to suicide.More than one speaker mentioned that in the past year Mike had asked, what makes you happy? What defines happiness? My wish is that none of us ever have to ask that question.

Although there were approximately 20 friends from the company there, and it was great to see them it was not the circumstances I wished I were seeing them under.

Mike was a family man, his kids and wife meant everything to him. The divorce shook up his whole world. I know that some of us handle tragedy differently than others but I can’t imagine the pain he must have felt. Oh the loneliness. I had a bout of depression after my own divorce; it lasted a couple months, and was the worst feeling of loneliness I have ever felt. I cannot change things, and my life goes on. But I will never forget Mike as long as I live. He left this world, and his children much too early. May peace come to them in their own lives’. I know he would want that.

I love you Mike, and I miss you already- Rest in peace

The end of the year is a time for reflecting on the past year, and looking forward to the new year. My reflection changed in an instant this year. I was contemplating posting about all the challenges I have faced this year and how I couldn't wait for the new one to start. 

That is still true. I wish Mike were here to enjoy it with me.

Happy New year to you all. Make it the best it can be.


  1. I am so very sorry. I too lost a coworker to suicide and this year a man I was in school with committed suicide as well. It was a dreadful loss.

    How sad a person must be to feel the world is better off without them.

    Happy New Year to you and yours


  2. Breeze- Thank you so much so sorry to hear about your double loss. I agree very sad lives.
    Happy New year to you. Thank you for visiting and commenting

  3. I am very sorry for your loss. This gentle reminder at the new year may help us focus on what is good in our lives, and what is truly essential.

  4. BLW- Thank you for the thoughts. You are absolutely correct. I am also a little more aware it seems of others actions and needs. I could not have saved Mike, but maybe I can make a difference in someone's life, and maybe that life is my own.

  5. So sorry for your loss *hugs*

    Suicide, depression, stress, the feeling so effin alone and the hating yourself...its a terrible place to be. I lost a friend to suicide. Ill never forget this one thing that was said at his funeral "Depression tells lies". That pretty much sums it does tell lies and trying to block those lies out or ignore them is alot harder than people think. For some, unfortunatly, the lies are just to loud. Ive learned thru my own struggle with depressoin...sometimes, theres nothing that anyone can say to make you feel any better, but the key for me is to keep letting them say it. I shut people out and then Im left with only my self and the lies of depression...Im learning to let people in...slowly, cautiously but none the less Im letting people in.

    I wish our friends had known that they had the strength to beat the lies....deep down we all have the strength to survive ourselves.


  6. Christeen- I agree with you, terribly lonely place to be. I am so glad to hear that you have fought the ugly monster of depression and came out on the other side. You are never alone.
    I too wish they had the strength to survive. welcome to my blog

  7. I've been meaning to come to your blog again for a LONG time ... thank you for the last two comments on mine : ) You are such a sweetheart : )

    I really feel for you and this recent loss of a good friend. When I read stories like this, it really makes me want to work harder in my own life - to take each moment and cherish the sweetness that can come from it when we relax, breathe and find sweet joy in something that makes us feel good.

    Yesterday when I was putting my son to bed (and myself too, it was late) he called me from his room to come give him a hug. I was tired and I had already given him many hugs and kisses before bed ... but I went again anyway (instead of telling him to go to sleep) and we had such a perfect sweet moment, noses and foreheads touching, both of us giggling uncontrollably.

    Not sure why I wrote that but it's these little moments of pure joy that beat out any negative things we might be feeling or going through. I strive to have as many of these kinds of moments as I can throughout 2010 - I wish the same for you : )

    Big Hugs : )


  8. Martha- Welcome back to my blog. I loved your little anecdote about your baby. What a wonderful time to cherish. I believe it means he will never feel alone or unloved himself.
    2010 the year for appreciation, love and hope.

  9. Very sad. Beautiful eulogy.

  10. this was beautiful and heartbreaking!! I know how life changing it can be..and in the end thats the best thing that can come from it. US holding our children longer, getting back in touch with old friends, appreciating moments we used to take for granted..I am so sorry for your friends sadness....

  11. I am so sorry for your loss. Your writing is a beautiful testimony to your friendship.

  12. So sorry for your friend. Sometimes life is just so bl**dy unfair. I hope your 2010 is good.


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