First, I'm doing fine. As I said in my last post, this wasn't someone to whom I was particularly close, although s/he was in my division (and I'll be talking to the Provost about how to staff his/her classes this afternoon). Thank you all for your condolences.
What I want to say is that this death has made me me--and, I suspect, many of my colleagues--think, painfully, about the importance of kindness.
Our late colleague, although s/he had a good heart, was sometimes hard to work with; s/he could be a little...lost in space, seemingly, at times. S/he was never prickly or difficult, but we got impatient. I got impatient.
None of us was responsible for what s/he did. But we could have been kinder. I could have been kinder.
In the last week, I think that we all learned a lot about him/her that we never knew--good things; things about the love that s/he had for his/her students, and how meaningful that was to them. I would have liked to have known these things before. And I would have liked to have had the patience, and the grace, to appreciate them as I ought to have done.
So I hope that I learn that. Because, honestly, there are a lot of people that I could write this stuff about. As one of my co-workers put it: Will this make me less of a bitch? I hope so.