Have you ever been asked to do something when there is no way you can say so, but the thought of doing it makes you want to throw up in your mouth? This happened to me today.
At the beginning of January, one of our co-workers passed away. His celebration of life was held on February 11, 2017 in a town three hours from here. That week the weather turned from cold to fucking miserable. Highways were closed for several days prior to the celebration of life. Because of this, the company informed the wife of our passed co-worker that we were advising our staff not to travel. The owners offered to hold a gathering in town for anyone who could not attend the service.
I am the one and only HR person for our company, so planning the “make up” celebration of life was left to me. I was told this Monday to organize something for Friday, which is now today. Basically four days to plan an event for 60 people. NO easy task, but I did it. This evening from 4 to 6pm, we are gathering to remember the life of our friend. Today, I messaged the wife, asking her if she could meet me 15 minutes early, as she has a slide show she wants us to play. I need to get the computer set up and make sure it works prior to people arriving. Her reponse was yes, of course, and hey I have a letter I wrote to “Fred” (not his real name), and I was wondering if you could read it tonight.
OMG — WTF. I cannot tell a grieving wife “no” to something like that. But at the same time, how am I going to get up in front of a crowded room and read an emotionally charged letter written from a wife to her dead husband. This is heavy shit for this anxious girl.
I did agree to read the letter, and I’ve been practicing all afternoon. Still, I’m terrified I won’t read it with the emotion it’s meant to portray. I read it to one of my co-workers, and I did fine one-on-one, but it’s not going to be the same this evening. Let’s hope my anxiety doesn’t decide to fuck me up like it has a habit of doing. I sort of feel this goes a little beyond the call of duty. But I guess I feel honoured that she felt comfortable asking me to read this.
I’m sending a little prayer up to GOD; he hasn’t heard from me in a while, but I need his help. I’m asking him to give me the voice of an angel tonight. I’m asking for the strength to speak her words with the emotions that were written behind them. I hope he can hear me, but just in case he can’t, I think I will need a BIG glass of wine before I make my debut.