Suzy Snapper
Thursday, June 22, 2006
There but for the grace
As the saying goes...sometimes you get a little slap upside the head at how incredibly fortunate things are.

I got an email today from my brother saying 'Did you know so-and-so?' My brother, I may have mentioned is a police officer in a local suburb here. I don't remember him ever asking me anything like that...when he's at work, family does not collide. I responded 'Yes, we worked together quite closely at my former place of work.'

The email returned almost immediate. Call me right away, it said. And he gave the police station's number.

Although I was in a meeting, I quickly requested some privacy as I felt something must be wrong.

Turns out my former coworker, aged 51 decided to take his own life today.

He and I were made redundant on the same day in February 2005. I found work rather easily and never really looked back. I saw it as a new door opening, but for him. it was a door closed.

Unfortunately, this very learned man - who possessed a Masters degree - found employment difficult and unattainable. I don't know the details but it would sound like the last 16 months were very challenging for him.

I remember hearing from friends after I was made redundant that he took it hard that day. While I smiled and thanked them for the opportunity, eager to start my next adventure, he was the opposite. Shocked and apparently couldn't believe that it was happening to him.

He was an intense man, and while we didn't always see eye to eye, I did respect his skill and knowledge in a field I knew a mere tip of the iceberg. Things that I struggled to understand, he picked up with ease.

When I first heard, I was shocked but not entirely surprised. His intensity was extreme. His moodiness legendary, but from what I'm told, a very loyal friend once one passed his gruff exterior.

As I sat and pondered it, I began to feel very sad. For me, this past year and a bit has been a great ride. It has pushed me, taught me, frustrated me and so much more. I am in a place now that I never would have thought possible back then.

Yet, someone whom I shared that path with, whom I worked with for many years had a very different outcome.

It gives me great pause tonight. May he now be freed of the pain he was obviously in, and may he rest in peace.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer trapped in a corporate buyer's body. Steel shopping by day, and freeflowing prose by night. One day I hope to have the nights become my days, but am intimidated by the sheer amount of people who share my dream. So I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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