The fragility of life and the stories behind them

Today, I heard about the passing of a colleague.

The back entrance
I’ve never worked directly with this colleague, but I’ve bumped into him quite often during the past 6 months. It was always at the back of the office building. He would usually be on a smoke break when I reach the office. We’ll exchange greeting smiles. The last conversation I had with him, he asked if I played the guitar, because I had a jam session that night and he caught me carrying my guitar to work that day.

So when I heard today that he had depression and committed suicide, it really shocked me.

It reminded me of how fragile life is. And how so often we see only the surface of people in our lives, be it strangers, acquaintances, or friends. It’s things like this that reminds me how human everyone is – that vice-president you feel awkward talking to, the colleague who annoys the hell out of you, the receptionist who shares stories about her family, the same stranger who bump into often on the way to work… that everyone have their their own stories, their joys, their troubles, what drives them, what frustrates them…

We’re unique, but are not really all that different.

For that colleague who has moved on, I keep thinking – if only I could have spoken to him more. But at times we don’t think or act on such things until it’s too late.

I pray that his family stays strong, and that he may be in peace now in a much better place.

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