I just learned that an old co-worker of mine passed away after a long illness.
Several years after we’d lost touch, someone told me that she’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I remember thinking about how hard a life she’d had. She was a teenager when she’d had her first child and the father did not stick around. She’d had a series of difficult relationships and financial troubles. And yet, she had a positive outlook and deep faith.
I wouldn’t say we were friends. I advised her about her career. I listened to her frustrations at times. But I didn’t feel a deep connection. I’m not sure that she did either, but I know she was lonely. And tired.
It’d been several years – or longer – since we’d talked. So when I found out she was sick, I felt sad, but did not feel as if I should, or could, reach out.
I wish I’d sent a friendly note. Or made some small gesture.
I hope she died in peace and that her family was with her.