At some point today, I’ll move away from my desk and stretch before going outside to sit down and do a spot of thinking. It will be a pleasure, even if the catalyst for doing so absolutely isn’t.
A colleague is attending a funeral today. I won’t tell you who he is. Don’t try and guess. That’s not important.
What is important is that I don’t know him very well. But in the short space of time I’ve worked with him, I come to appreciate his easy company. He is the kind of person who easily locks on to everyone around him and in doing so effortlessly succeeds in bringing out the very best in them. Just as there are people who drain all the joy out of life just by virtue of their presence, so too there are those who give life a much-needed boost.
Good promotes good. It’s as simple as that.
My heart tells me he’s a good friend, even if my head reminds me that I don’t really know him that well.
News of his family member’s death was conveyed in a text message to me when I was in Stockholm. I remember gasping when I read it.
This shock was too sad. Too unfair. This wasn’t how us lot at work had considered the narrative would go. Everything had been working out just fine. This wasn’t what was meant to happen. Being out in Stockholm seemed too far away. This snippet of information so short, so disposable and so very damaging.
I conveyed my sympathies in a response. In the days that followed, I wanted to do more but realised I couldn’t. I didn’t have a postal address. Couldn’t really retrieve it and didn’t want to text asking for an address. Realised that the best approach was to leave people to their own devices. Keep a distance and keep an eye. Think of them instead.
That’s what I’ll do later on today. Take a moment outside. Stare into the sky, breathe deeply and think about those left behind.
As individuals, leaving our world for a few minutes to think about someone else’s is the least we can do. It’s also one of the healthier things we can do too. A sort of two minutes silences that we decide upon ourselves not convention. None of us will comfortably admit that it’s as much about consoling those who are struggling with their grief as it is consoling ourselves, almost as though the act itself is a kind of payment into our own emotional bank account for the day we face the worst and look to our friends for support.
Whatever the motivation, whatever the benefits and whoever feels those benefits, it’s still worth doing.
Take a moment.