There’s been a lot of change here lately. The reasons would require far too much context and PII to adequately explain so we’ll just leave it at that. These changes have reduced in significant turnover in departments other than my own but it still hits home. I’ve worked with these folks for quite a while and it’s tough to lose a familiar face.
Some have more trouble with this than others. Goodbyes are always hard but they’re constant in life. I miss my friends as well. But I have a slightly different perspective.
Years ago when I was 15, I tagged along with my grandparents to go pick some apples. As I was in driver’s ed at the time, they offered to let me drive. I hopped in my grandfather’s new pickup truck and started driving. Right before we reached our destination, I pulled out in front of a car doing 50+ and quickly found ourselves in the ditch across the road. Thankfully, everyone was fine (a few minor injuries but nothing of note). However, that experience shaped my early life substantially.
I have often thought of that intersection between our lives and that family in that car. A matter of seconds would have completely eliminated that event. I remember wanting something to drink and thinking about stopping at a gas station or a drive-through to pick up a Coke. I remember being annoyed that I had to stop for a train full of fruit that seemingly took forever to cross. I remember getting lost just before the destination and having to u-turn to get to the right place. All of these events ultimately led to the consequences that came. If I were to remove one of them, it likely would have been an uneventful trip to the orchard.
One of my co-workers passed away last Friday. She was 53 years old. I didn’t know her that well but many of my colleagues did. It’s been a rough few days. It’s interesting to think of our relationship as a cosmic coincidence – a chance encounter in a never-ending and seemingly random universe. Nothing about that relationship was intentional or permanent. It was something nice that was provided due to chance. Everything changes. At the very most, we get to briefly interact with those who are here. Whether those experiences are good or bad, it’s a brief wink in history. Understanding that context is key.