Finding words to talk about this on a blog has been a difficult task. I began one post almost a week ago and it will never see the light of day. Last Saturday morning, after a great day at an academic conference on campus, I received a phone call from a fellow student, telling me that the professor I worked for had died suddenly the night before...it was unreal.
Over the last week I have struggled with that situation and asked myself how something like that happened to such a kind and vibrant person, a question I still cannot answer.
After a beautiful and love-filled memorial to his life yesterday, I can finally write a few words about why this has affected me so deeply.
I have dealt with death before... I lost grandparents, other family members, and a child over a decade ago, but for some reason, the speed...the abruptness, and the disconnect that this death caused me is just arresting.
I will say this, the professor I worked for was a joy to be around. He was motivational, light, funny, and always telling me that despite mistakes or issues, everything was going great.
Graduate students operate in a very stressful environment and having mentors around us that promote positivism and calm is just vital to our success... my boss made me smile every time I talked to him and he also made me feel like despite all the hang-ups and difficulties, I was doing a great job every day.
I feel horrible for his family, his close friends...and everyone who were lucky enough to meet him and know him.