Portentious of bad news received near the end of the day, I had a horrible time at work, all day.  I was just cranky for no particular reason.  Phones were ringing way too often and I was fighting hard to get organized and do some problem-solving, trying to get a new project started (not my choice, but something that was forced on handed to me and I am excited about- just not today).  Unfortunately, though, it has no buy-in from my co-workers that already hate work, and this change is disruptive to them as well.  Today was especially hard.  This new project pulls me out of the mix of our group work.


 We have a group of clients that meets monthly for a support group and I have been making the reminder calls.  Last month, one of the people on the list never answered the phone.  This month, his phone was disconnected.  (These things are not unexpected from our clients.)  I hoped he would remember…it’s always at the same bat time, same bat channel.


This particular person was not someone I knew well.  He- if I remember correctly-  collected cans on the street for money (can collectors and other people who keep the streets clean occupy a special place in my heart).  He may have been a little slow mentally, but was very insightful in certain ways; patient, kind.  He helped others- the group benefited from his presence.  He served as a mentor for children in his neighborhood- a sorely needed role model- an older man with a good heart.  I had had few interactions with him, but he had a certain special something that I can’t put into words.  Maybe like an aura.  What does make one person different from another, anyway?


I found out very near the end of the day that he had died.  I don’t know why I feel so incredibly, disproportionately sad at this news.  I don’t bond with people easily.   His corner – our corner- of the world had lost something dear and rare.


The person who told me this bad news said with a non-characteristic tenderness, “He was a gentle soul.”  That was the same thing I was thinking.   There was nothing else to say; I went back to my not-very-private work area and cried.  That’s all.  No words.  Only tears.