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