JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Posts Tagged ‘coworkers

“And another regrettable thing about death…”

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is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market —
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories packed
in the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That’s it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren’t the same.

-Perfection Wasted by John Updike

This poem has been on my heart tonight.

My colleague, Paul, passed away Sunday, weeks after a serious motorcycle crash sent him to a Kansas City hospital. We were cautiously optimistic at first — he was banged up pretty badly but made it through a rough first week and into two surgeries.

Enter: Sunday night. Facebook. A link from a shared colleague, asking for prayer for a woman. Then I see the link title, from my newspaper: Editor dies suddenly.

Who else could it be? It hits all at once. Then comes a text, a Facebook message. Collective shock, grief. He was only 47.

I’ve only been in my job for a year and 8 months or so, but my desk is feet away from his. He was also on the night side quite frequently since he oversaw my coworkers on the copy desk (they edit/layout pages) and I also work nights.

There are a lot of people who knew him better than I did, and longer, but I know that he was kind, he was funny, and he had amazing taste (both in music and in design). I dunno if you remember those cookies I made way back when, the bourbon-chocolate-bacon combo — those were for him. He challenged me to make cookies involving both bacon AND bourbon.

In recent conversations, we discussed misheard lyrics, food (especially great restaurants in KC), the Big Lebowski and why men die more than women in severe weather (I was willing to say men perhaps are not too stupid to stay out in bad weather to watch, Paul was quite willing to admit that men are stupid).

My heart aches for his family, his wife, his friends, my coworkers who worked for him. I don’t know if you’re into praying or sending good vibes, but whatever the case, feel free to send both in the direction of his loved ones/the newsroom family.

RIP, Paul.

We’ll miss your brand of magic.


Written by Jessica

July 29, 2014 at 3:58 am

Posted in On the Job, Thoughts

Tagged with ,