Not just a one day event, I'm blogging every day about what I'm thankful for

Posts tagged ‘Death’

Bullying

I haven’t blogged in ages. Guess I haven’t had much to say. But something happened today and I really need to talk about it. I actually posted something on facebook and realized it would sound insensitive and cruel so I deleted it. 

Here’s what happened:

I got a text from a high school classmate that one of the girls in my elementary school had died. Her name was Ellen. Not sure what happened but I understand she has had some heart issues and collapsed in a parking lot. When she got to the hospital, she was brain dead. The family turned off the machines yesterday. 

Just hearing her name brought forth a rush of childhood memories. None of them pleasant. Ellen was a bully. She teased me mercilessly, tormented me and even punched me. She was the biggest girl in 5th grade and I was the littlest. I was also fairly new to the town and school. I remember when I started wearing a training bra (not sure what I was training for though). She was constantly snapping the back and making fun of me. I went home from school crying on a regular basis. Back then you would say she was picking on me. Today, she would be labeled a bully. 

I will never forget the time she took my clothes and hid them in gym class. Seriously, I was in the shower and my clothes were gone. What does a tiny little 10 year old girl do (one who already feels insecure and shy) when she has no clothes to put on. She stands in the shower room and bawls her heart out until a teacher comes to find her. 

I never hated Ellen. I was afraid of her and did everything I could to hide from her. A friend of mine told me today that Ellen and her friends beat her up in high school over some boy. She was not a nice person back then. I hear she has changed but all I know of Ellen is that she was a bully. 

I heard the news of her passing today and I can’t quit crying. It is sad that she died so young. I’m sure it will be hard on her family. But it brought a rush of bad feelings to me. I cried because of the way the memories made me feel. I cried because I remembered being felt to feel like I was nobody. I cried because I remembered what it was like to be scared. I cried because I can’t feel bad that someone died because they were so hateful to me. 

Bullying has long lasting effects. Even the fairly mild bullying I experienced. I’m sorry for the loss of someone so young. But I’m more sorry for all the things this brought to mind today. 

Passing of a Life

I learned rather indirectly that a former secretary and friend of mine died quite suddenly. It really set me back. She was only 48 years old and had no known health problems. She had two young adult sons who are now left to finish growing up without their biggest cheerleader.

This was a classic case of why boss/employee relationships should be kept at a professional level and not allowed to become too good of friends. I gave her her annual review. It was a good review, but it wasn’t a glowing review. I had pointed out a couple of areas for growth. Evidently she wasn’t happy about it because while I was out of the office the following week, she packed up, sent me a scathing email, sent a letter to my board president (he even asked to see the review and wondered how anyone could be unhappy with it) and left my office unstaffed. Talking to her was not an option since she wouldn’t talk to me at all. I, of course, was forced to move forward and get someone hired.

I ran into her a couple of years later and she was cordial and polite. But it was obvious to me that she just wished I would go away and leave her alone. That made me sad.

Now to hear she died has just left me feeling like it was all unresolved. Her son contacted me late last night to be sure I had heard the news. I was touched that he reached out to me.

Funeral arrangements haven’t been finalized yet. The earliest the viewing will be Wednesday. That is also the morning I leave for a long-anticipated vacation visiting a friend. I won’t really be able to say goodbye. But then, that may be the way she would want it.

So, goodbye Lisa. You offered so much to so many. I wish things had turned out differently for our relationship. Your family will miss you terribly. May you rest in peace. ❤

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