I came back to work after the Easter weekend to be told officially that one of the staff members had died over the Easter weekend, that she had committed suicide.
I have been at work for nearly 17 years. In all that time, I knew this staff member as a kindly, softly spoken person with a good sense of humour. Her voice was one of the first I came to recognise on the phone when I was on help desk (softly spoken), and she was really helpful when she was on reception in another area during a rough trot I was having.
Over the past 4 weeks she had been helping me with procedures and work instructions that I had to do for our department. The last time I saw her (Friday week last) she seemed in good spirits, and little different to any other time I had seen her. I actually had last week off work leading into Easter.
I didn't know her outside of work. She has adult children and an x-husband. She has at least one grandchild. She worked right up to Easter at work.
I've been so upset this week at work. Those who knew her better are just shocked to the point of no emotions showing. I, on the other hand, have been crying both at work and at home.
She was such a lovely person. She rarely talked about her personal life.
I've had to have some counseling because I just don't know where to put my emotions. When I go into work I've had to stare at emails from her from last week, awaiting a response, and know that she is gone. So I wasn't staring at them, I actually emailed her back and said stuff, even though I know she isn't there to answer them.
Other staff feel uncomfortable about removing her details from the system, which would be the normal procedure if someone left, and have actually held off, waiting for someone to tell them to do it, as it feel disrespectful.
I am still emotional. It's real hard to believe I will never see her again at work. She was one of the ones that had been there 'forever' that I really liked. There are so few of those left.