Monday, September 8, 2008

Dear Eric

Dear Eric,

One week ago Saturday, you died. You were in the middle of a two week vacation, riding your Harley, and were killed by an oncoming car. The driver has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and your widow asked us to remember that his family has also suffered a tragedy.

Your widow did an amazing job at your funeral service. She was strong and kind. I wonder how it felt to lose someone so early in a marriage - you were only married 2 3/4 years. I wondered about your ex wife and how she is mourning your death. I wondered about your children watching their step mom deliver this important address to a standing room only crowd.

What struck me most was how little work seemed to play into your service. There was one picture of you at work. Your wife knew almost none of your coworkers. Yet this is where you spent 40 hours a week. You were an ass at work. You were opinionated and stubborn. Your boss felt you bordered on insubordination, your coworkers didn't think you were a team player. Your main coworker was out for weeks after a bike accident and you didn't seem to to care nor ask him how he was when he returned, yet he cried the hardest when we lost you.

Is work for not? Is it really so unimportant that it doesn't deserve mention at a funeral? Is my energy at work to be a good boss and to serve others a waste of time? Is it really just a paycheck?

You so frustrated one employee that he was applying for other jobs. Now I get to meet with him and my boss tomorrow. He's the boss' favorite, but I suspect you knew that. Although he caused us to violate an environmental standard and "lose" a $1,000 piece of equipment, he is still the boss' favorite. Yeah, it pisses me off too. Is that why you were an ass to him? Did you see injustice, or were you just critical?

The minister asked us several times, "What are you going to do with what he gave you?" and I couldn't help but think about how religious you were and how religious the funeral was. I saw the Black Sheep, the Harley Davidson riders for Jesus, I heard all the Bible quotes, but I still can't believe.

I am spiritual and I agree that there are so many things more powerful and important than me. But no God, no manly God with his manly son, Jesus. No one to forgive me, but myself. No one to guide me, but myself.

I saw too many religious people in my life who hid behind their religion as a balance to their evil towards others, and yes, Eric, I hold you in this category.

Many people praised how kind you were to strangers and acquaintances, but how about to your coworkers? How about to those closest to you?

I will miss you. I admired your work and individuality. I admired that you spoke your mind, even if I didn't agree. I admired that you took pride in your work.

I wish you peace and I wish your family peace in your passing.


1 comment:

yertle said...

Wow, this is so intense. I am proud of your for letting yourself speak your truth and feel what you feel.
I have the same struggles you have with God.