Compassion Given

I entered work on a sombre note. A friend and co-worker, the person who occupied the desk beside me for about half the year, unexpectedly (to me at least) passed away over the weekend.  His name was Douglas and he was a very interesting individual who had done a wide variety of things before coming to teaching at a later age.  He is one of two people who have been at the company longer than I have.  He was well liked, had a great sense of humour, and both musical and visually artistic abilities.  He liked organizing concerts and events.  He also had seen some of the greatest acts of the 20th century performing live at both large and small venues.  It was no wonder he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of music.

Though the goal of this post was not to eulogize him, I seem to have done that. It is probably important to understand, to at least a minor degree, who he was before I can explain Today’s Perfect Moment.

I entered work on a very sombre note. I glanced at his desk.  The duty of teaching the final week of his class would fall to me.  I wanted to do right by him and the students, but I really didn’t know where to begin.

The only other person who had been at the company longer than I walked into the staff room. She was crying.  I was worried that she had only now just heard the news.  Instead, she’d been weeping and laughing for the past day recounting memories of the man.

It was then that several people approached the two of us offering hugs, handshakes, and whatever we needed. I don’t know how I should characterize it.  Obviously they thought we would be the most affected as we might have been closest to him.  They wanted to help and it was nice to see that in this world often characterized as impersonal and cold, that people would make a point of immediately reaching out.

Later on in the day, I got a message that messenger had a big run of people commenting on his passing. Our former Director of Studies (DOS) put out a message to those who no longer work at the same company, but who knew him.  There condolences and written memories of the man reminded me that there is a unique community of souls amongst those who’ve worked with us.  I have called them an odd bunch, but they are compassionate and they tell some great stories.

It’s hard to consider these Perfect Moments on a day when most of us were just trying to survive, but there was something so beautiful about them that it is hard to deny. Maybe they are not Perfect, but they were comforting.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, ESL, Folk music, music, sombre, teaching and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Compassion Given

  1. Melissa says:

    I’m sorry for your loss!

  2. Your words speak volumes about how the man moved you, (although that may not have been your intention) and that is indeed a perfect moment.

  3. Joanna Axiak says:

    Wonderfully put Anthony. I haven’t seen Doug in years but my memories of him and the enthusiasm he brought to teaching and life in general are as vivid as if I worked along side him just yesterday. Thank you for sharing this outpouring of support as Today’s Perfect Moment.

  4. Theresa says:

    That’s beautiful Anthony and I’m sure Douglas would be pleased to know that he’d sparked compassion rather than sadness. Xxx

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much Anthony. This is wonderful.

  6. Hunida says:

    Glad you are surrounded by so many wonderful people. ♡ So sorry for your loss, Anthony!

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