On Friendship

I want to tell you about what happened, but I can’t do that without explaining how amazing my group of coworkers are. I’ve been at my job for two years, and anyone who works at a desk job knows the 8+ hours a day you spend with the people you work with creates friendships that are vital to survival. They see you at your worst, your most frustrated, they get all your silly emails and they are always up for going out to lunch. It’s like you’re in the trenches with these people, and they end up knowing you in a totally different way than people outside of the office.

Last week, our friend Dave passed away. It was devastating and senseless and a complete shock. In the two short years that I got to work with him, it’s impossible to imagine the office without him; he was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and was always rallying people for happy hour. He’d pop by my desk daily to ask  interesting questions (“What’s the term for when the brand name becomes the generic term?” “Is the word I want ‘ancillary’ or ‘auxiliary’?” “Why is Microsoft Word not letting me change the spacing?!”). I wish I’d gotten to know him better, but I’m grateful for the time I did know him.

Our office rallied together in support in one of the most beautiful ways I’ve ever seen. The number of people that went to see him in the hospital last week spoke volumes about the person he was; there were so many of us that at one point we asked who was left watching the office. On Friday, the day he passed away, a huge group of us decided to celebrate his life the best way we knew how: together, drinking in Dave’s memory. It reminded me how incredible the people I work with are, how important nights like this with friends are, and how short life is.

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my beautiful girls

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We ordered a round of Dave’s favorite shot (Soco and an orange slice) well before 6pm, and our manager gave a heartfelt toast. It sucked that this was the reason we were all together, but I don’t think we could imagine being anywhere else. Not content with stopping the festivities at 8, we went around the corner to Maurin’s house where we played Wii Dance, Never Have I Ever, Audrey took a million pictures, Maurin made us grilled cheese and we drank all her beer and wine.

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Maurin and Hunter dancing to Beautiful Liar. 

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I really liked Wii Dance.

It sucks that it took something tragic and sad like this to give us one of the most fun nights I’ve ever had, but I think we did Dave proud. We miss you, buddy. The night just wasn’t the same without you.

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January 14, 2013 / life / dog / LEAVE A COMMENT / 15

15 comments

  • Aww, what a shame!!! May he rest in peace, poor guy. :(

    I’m so glad you guys chose to celebrate his life the way you did.

  • Oh I’m sorry to hear your sad news, such a tragic waste of life in odd circumstances. Yet, I’m really happy that you all got to hang out and celebrate with a bang, what he and your friendship with him was all about to you. Happy memories to take forward.

    Loving your Wii dance pose, what track were you dancing to in this piccy? x

  • Oh that must be so weird having such a great time in such sad circumstances. You guys rallied amazingly. He was very lucky to have friends like you lot and what happened to him was just awful and so sad and pointless.
    I want Wii dance so much that looks awesome. For my hen do perhaps???
    You have friend called Hunter? that’s such a cool name.
    Thinking of you xxx

  • so sorry to hear how that story ended… but i think it’s a huge positive when someone’s death can lead to others realising how important it is to embrace every moment! some of my best friendships that still stand today stemmed from work colleagues… in fact, most of my friendships today… they’re the people who see you before your first latte, the ones you’ve laughed with until you cried {or to stop you crying} when you’ve hated the job or the boss turned out to be a misguided fruit-loop hell-bent on making your 9-5 a living hell… they’re the ones who’ve been unfortunate enough to ask “how was your weekend” only to have you spend the next 45 minutes regaling them with stories… it sounds like you did your friend proud not only by remembering what has gone, but being thankful for what is left! & yes, wii dance looks ridiculously fun!!!

  • I love that you all celebrated life and friendship in the wake of such a tragedy. I’m sure Dave was smiling upon all your antics from above :-)

  • oh man. this is really making me cry because it’s so sad and because you found the beautiful parts in that sadness (and you write about it so eloquently) and you celebrated a life that obviously was too short and you all had fun and i bet he would have loved that. i am just so sorry to hear that he passed away. i don’t believe in god but it’s times like this when someone dies so very senselessly that i think they must be needed elsewhere, or something.

    PS i love the last couple pictures where it looks like everyone else is gone and you two are letting loose on the wii, that is awesome. that would definitely be me after a few shots of anything. it also reminds me that i have that game! it think i need to break out some whiskey and my wii. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  • I am so sorry for your loss. He became more real when I saw his photo and even I tear up when you speak or write about him.

  • Not the way you ever want a story to end; It’s so tragic and senseless. I’m glad you wrote this post and shared it with us as it’s such a beautiful way to honor your friend. This post speaks volumes about his character and what he meant to all of you. You did him proud coming together and celebrating his life in such a way. I can only hope that people feel compelled to dance up a storm as they’re celebrating my life when I leave. Oh yeah! (I’m putting that in my will.) RIP, Dave.

  • i’m so sorry for all of you guys…but love that it brought your office closer. He must have been an incredible person.

  • Erin I’m so sorry to hear about your co-worker. At the same time, I’m so happy to hear about how all of you rallied. Don’t feel bad that it took a tragedy, find comfort in knowing that this group will have your back. Hugs.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss :( In the last year we lost someone in our building, and the whole team gets somber. I too feel that the best way to honor the person, is to celebrate the life that they lived.

  • Erin, I don’t even know what to say besides I am so sorry for you and your co-workers. But it is comforting to hear that you guys grew closer through such a tragedy and chose to celebrate his life and the honor of getting to know him…xoxo

  • My condolences to Dave’s family. :'( And you have great colleagues! :D It’s not easy to find a workplace one can fit in so well.

  • <3 Such a heart felt meaningful post.

  • I’m really so sorry to hear about your co-worker. It’s such a special thing when you are actually happy to be around the people you work with and some of my best friends now used to be co-workers. Here’s to hoping that you keep those bonds throughout your life and have more reasons to celebrate together in the future