subject line: Fly one, sweet angel

 

Philadelphia

I know you never really hear about the boss’s perspective when someone dies, so here it is.

J,

I am sorry if it ever seemed like I was cold to you. I was trying to do my job. I hope you knew that I cared a lot about how your life was developing. I hope you knew that every time I saw you were tired, and I said, “please get some rest,” I meant it. It is too late for me now to walk you through the challenges you talked to me about. I believed our conversations were only getting started. I have been worried about you. You told me before you died that work was the only place you felt happy, and I hope you knew I wanted to craft that safe space for you. We all cared tremendously about you. I know you have listened to enough of my lectures, but one last time, I need to tell you. I am so angry at you. I am so angry that you didn’t reach out more, and I am angry that you felt hopeless, and I am angry that this world got the best of you. Boy, oh boy, I am going to miss trying to teach you. I’m going to miss your inappropriate jokes, and I’m going to miss the face you make when I try to scold you. You always would play it off like I just caught you at a bad time. You would never let me down again. I’m going to miss your singing. I am going to miss the confidence you had in your own character at such a young age. I wish I had told you it takes some people their whole lives to become as kind and genuine as you were at 19. I know you worked with some lost souls, and I am sorry. I am sorry that we could not be better mentors, and I know I speak for all of us when I say, we tried. You caught us on a bad year, I guess. Man, oh man, did we care about you, though. I am really going to miss you. I already know I am going to think of you every time I feel like giving up for the rest of my life, and I’m going to call on your young angel spirit to guide me through. After all the time I have spent trying to mentor you, I’m going to ask you to return the favor. I know you don’t owe me anything, but you always had a way of looking out for me anyways.

Rest easy.

Love,

M.H.