One of the best ways to know how much a person is loved and/or respected by others is at their farewell – whether it is a farewell for leaving work or a country or farewell for leaving life.

In the past two months I had the misfortune to farewell two of my colleagues: one for leaving work AND the country and the other for passing away. In both of their farewells, I couldn’t help but notice how much positive impact they have had on people and through this an immense sadness for the loss of their presence in our daily lives. The sadness was resonating with everyone present. It showed how much we cared for the person leaving and the amount of gratitude we had for all the time they spent with us. It also showed how much good they have done to each and one of us while they were here.

In such occasions, I cannot help but reflect on how I behave in the workplace – I ask myself:

  • Am I leaving positive impact on my colleagues?
  • Am I making my colleagues feel appreciated, valued?
  • Am I treating my colleagues with respect?
  • Is working with me enjoyable for my colleagues?

The two brilliant colleagues we farewelled definitely have managed to do all of this (and more). It is an amazing feat. Something to aspire and endeavour to do.

It also makes me realise how precious the time spent with people you care about truly is. It should not be wasted but instead be used to show your appreciation for them. You never know when they will leave you.

I miss them.

For the one still living, I wish him all the best in whatever the future brings him. For the other, I wish him peace in afterlife.

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