Friday. This is the most favourite day of most people I know and including myself. Looking forward to a weekend of rest and relaxation at home with the loved ones.
But yesterday’s Friday is different from all the Fridays I had.
We had an emergency meeting at work yesterday. Emergency meetings are not a good sign. Initially I thought there is some sort of a restructuring or redundancy announcement going to happen. I am scared as I don’t want to lose a job now that we have a mortgage to pay.
Our director broke the news that one of my colleagues…or a friend passed away the other day. He said it’s a tragic accident. We were all shocked upon hearing this news. I first thought that it was some sort of a vehicular accident and one of my colleagues asked how are the other members of the family are doing. Then our boss said all members of the family are alive except for my colleague. We were all became more shocked to find out that even if he did not mention the reason, we could read between the lines that my friend took her own life.
I was shocked, devastated and upset to hear about this news. This is the first time I personally know someone whose death is because of that. I just remember seeing her last Thursday. We saw her crossing the road and she must have recognised our car because she stopped for a while. She just stopped from her spot while I alight at the bus stop, cross the road and took another bus without looking back. I felt she must have want some personal space so I did not bother catching up on her. I am aware of her struggle during the last week we were together.
I was thinking if something could have changed if I have talked to her last time I saw her. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going through her mind.
I was aware of her personal struggle at work during her last week at our client. Her mood changed and was quiet most of the time, not working anymore and just sitting beside me silently her eyes glued to her phone. I tried to pep talk her and treated her for a coffee hoping that she will open up to me. She was just quiet and even if I probed her with lots of questions, all she said to me was she doesn’t want to talk about it. So I did not push further and instead, I diverted the conversation to something else.
I am shocked. She is not only a colleague but somehow became a friend to me. Even if our friendship did not flourish as deep as my other friendships, I know I am friends with her as we eat lunch together, go home at the same time and walk to the bus together and even ride the same bus unless I am in a hurry and will ride another bus other than the ‘Purple’ bus that we always take together.
Our conversations mostly revolve around our kids, what sorts of cartoon our kids watch, what brand of kiddy toothpaste we use as her daughter does not like any toothpaste brands, what weekend activity we are up to and basically the differences of our lives here compared to PH and China.
I had a hard time sleeping last night. I was awake from 2 am and just lying in my bed with my eyes closed, saying a silent prayer for the Lord to put me back to sleep…and also saying a prayer for my friend. I can’t help but think about her because she’s part of my routine for 3 months because we work on the same project together. I think about her because she’s also a mother like me who has left a husband and a 4yo daughter. I can’t imagine leaving my son and husband just like that. 😥
Despite the work stress, I am staying strong for my son and husband. Life is like that. I do not know what she is going through because she is a private person and does not open up much. But surely I can help her if only she opened up to me, us and others.
I just pray and hope that wherever she is now, she finds the peace she is yearning for. I will miss her presence, the bus conversations and all the good times we had together.
Monday will be a different day at work.