We go to work each day pouring out our energy, creativity, and sweat. We work till we are weary and then often we work some more. Sometimes work is fun and gratifying. Sometimes it’s a slog and aggravating. But whatever it is, it's usually the people that make work worthwhile. We love the people we work with and often the people we provide products or services for.
Our work for each other on this planet rescues, entertains, shelters, discovers, invents, heals, protects, soothes, supports, focuses, distracts, clothes, nourishes, educates, cleans, transports, strengthens, advises, and so much more. We change each other’s lives every day through our work, and that is incredibly satisfying.
This week we lost people who we mostly knew through their work and the impact they had on our lives.
Kate Spade’s work clothed us beautifully and gave us self-expression, color, and design in the form of useful objects we enjoyed both practically and aesthetically.
Anthony Bourdain’s work inspired us to discover the world and ourselves by meeting people in their neighborhoods, tribes, and homes exploring rituals, traditions, and creativity of food and much more.
I’m particularly hit hard by the loss of Bourdain who taught us to move about this earth, to not be stagnant but fully connected, expansive, and present. I loved his curiosity about people and cultures, his directness and fearlessness in telling stories. I loved how he discovered and relished differences in people along with our commonalities. And I loved his example as a leader who occasionally “takes one for the team,” – he’d eat some pretty nasty things without balking to show respect and honor for his hosts. I love what I learned from his work.
And this week sadly many of us lost others we know through work. We lost people we served and people we served along side. We loved these people; it’s true and right to say that. We loved them. They were human beings who enriched our lives. We cared about them. We were connected. We valued their presence. We shared a sense of respect, trust, and belonging. We loved these people and now they are gone.
Some died from physical ailments. Some died in accidents.
And some died from depression.
If you lost someone you loved this week at work or in your personal life, I grieve with you for the void this creates in your life, for the absence of their love and care. I’m sorry you are now missing that sense family at work or at home. May you find peace and comfort and more love to heal.
Last night it seemed right to spend the evening at The Table, my favorite Tacoma neighborhood restaurant. The folks at the Table love their work, they love their customers, and they obviously love each other. That's why I go there. They pour out that love to create a place where customers become friends and family. Rachel, Bob, Wade all welcomed me. Owner and Executive Chef Derek came over with a greeting and a kind pat on my shoulder. I teared up sharing a moment talking about Bourdain with the sous chef. And they all poured their hearts into their work last night, creating wonderful food, comforting community, and love for these hard times.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Information and resources can be found on their website too.