Goodbye My Friend

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How do you say goodbye to a collegue who was more than just a workmate?

I changed schools 16 years ago. After 7 years in a a junior high school I applied for a job in a nearby high school and got it. I was lucky to find a great team of English teachers.

My colleague also taught English and had been working in this lycée for quite some time. She was a respected and demanding teacher and her students knew they were in good hands. She was a keen linguist and was always striving for the most accurate word.

She fell ill about four years ago and left teaching one year early because of an operation and the chemotherapy treatment that followed. Last September she learnt that she was terminally ill. She died this morning surrounded by two very close friends of hers.

She was frank, sometimes even blunt, but also extremely generous. When I last phoned her, she asked me a lot of sensitive questions and did not wish to dwell on her own condition. A friend I phoned tonight told me she had given her a book for me, which deeply moved me.

Because of her generosity and strong personality she will be missed not only by her closest friends, but also by people like me who are proud and honored to have met her.

Baruch Dayan Emet

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16 thoughts on “Goodbye My Friend

  1. So painful. My mother-in-law once told me you always feel the pain of loss. On the one hand, you can treasure the memories. On the other, one knows that close relationships like that are rare and to be treasured.

    With the loss of a parent, Judaism offers a built-in grief system. With a friend, one has to find one’s own way to mourn.

    Take care, my friend.

    • With the loss of a parent, Judaism offers a built-in grief system. With a friend, one has to find one’s own way to mourn.
      So true. And it is not always easy when you lack the various laws and stages of mourning.

  2. A lovely tribute and makes one think about the way our actions can affect so many others, not only our family and closest friends but a much wider circle as well. This lady left a wonderful legacy and you honored her in a beautiful way. I am sorry for your loss.

  3. I’m so sorry – it is always so painful to lose a friend. One thing about teachers though is that they leave so very much behind – not many of us have such a legacy. May that fact be part of your recollections and sadness.

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