She was a bully. There was no doubt about it. She was also our colleague. Each of us had been prey to her sarcastic tone and her snide remarks, some of us on a regular basis. She was odd and she was fussy, she talked about our customers every day.
Then we, her colleagues, had to figure out how to react. It’s not that we wanted her dead, but the relief, oh the relief of not having to face her each day was definitely a gift to all of us. Her closed door, because no one wanted to enter her sanctum, stayed that way for one week. No family, no friends came to clear out the space that had been hers.
So when she went “home” early on a Friday afternoon with one of her frequent “debilitating” migraines, we didn’t care. On Monday morning, we found out that she was dead. I guess the migraine really was bad, because it killed her.
At first we all appreciated the quiet. But soon the quiet became deafening . Each of us wrestled with our feelings of why we didn’t like her, what she had done to us and what we had not done to stop it.
She taught us a lot about ourselves, and here it is decades later, and I can still see her face and the pearls she wore with her blue cardigan.