Death of a Salesman

I used to be a desk jockey in corporate America and had several dozen sales reps who came courting.

I became close friends with a handful of them and continue to keep in touch with three or four of them still, despite leaving that job about a year and a half ago.

I found out one of my sales reps died recently. He was relatively a young man… about 45. When I heard the news it sucked the breath out of me for a second. And it was like my eyes were no longer looking at the road but searching inside my brain to make sense of it as well as reliving memories.

We had gone to several Astros games together and cheered our team to victory. We took my daughter a few times and he treated her like a princess the few games she went to, buying her whatever she wanted. One time buying her, he insisting against my urging to not buy it, a pink Astros baseball cap.

There were lunches, laughing, jokes, shared stress over projects… and speaking of, many a time he bailed my ass out by turning a job on a dime for me. Man he was good. He was really good at what he did. And we had become friends apart from our business relationship.

As i snapped back to, I kinda knew why and how he must have died as my friend (and someone who has become like a sister to me) Lillet continued.

He had a habit he couldn’t shake and it was his demise. He drank himself to death.

Lillet asked if I was ok and said she was terribly sorry she hadn’t told me sooner. She thought I knew.

He died about four months ago. No one told me. I didn’t get to go to his funeral. I didn’t get to say goodbye.

I’ll miss you Tom. I hope you have found peace.

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7 responses to “Death of a Salesman

  1. Dear Jules, That’s very sad news, I’m so sorry to hear about Tom’s death and that you weren’t given the chance to go to his funeral. Tom sounds like a funny, caring man who struggled with a very difficult disease. May he rest in peace.

  2. (((( Jules )))) How did I lose contact with you, my friend??? Ugh. My responsibility, totally.

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss…I wonder if these sorts of passings aren’t the hardest for those remaining to bear – the ones that could have been avoided… 😦 He sounds like he was – is – a terrific guy.

    This was a beautiful way to say goodbye to him…

    May 2008 find you blissfully happy, Julian. 🙂 Big hugs from California.

  3. Shelby… thank you for stopping by and commenting. very sweet of you. ~jules

    Grace! oh, Grace you haven’t lost contact with me. I stop by your place now and again and I think of you often. So, in that regard we are connected. Thank you for stopping by my place. Much love, light and BIG, tight hugs to you. ~ jules

  4. I’ve read this post about 7 times.

    I’ve spent a while trying to translate feelings and thoughts into words, and it’s been a challenge.

    The thing that I got immediately is that you remembered him well. He was good to you and yours and a positive guy all around. I concur with Grace – this was a great way to pay tribute to your friend.

    Regarding the shock you felt when you heard that he had passed, I could relate. Something else that has been hard to process for me is when your friends, including those younger than you, die – for whatever reason. Sheesh, I just got used to the idea that my parents are mere mortals… and it took losing one for me to figure that out. Now my friends are going to die? No way!

    In any case, I too hope your friend has found peace.

  5. Saying goodbye to someone is one of those things that doesn’t just happen. It’s a process. You will start your process now. Good luck at that and big hugs!

  6. Pingback: The day after the party (part 1 of 3) « A UU Deist in Texas

  7. it’s startling, isn’t it? the relentless progression of time. Life feels sorta permanent, things seem to change so slow, and then boom.

    It makes everything kinda weird in your head to know how fast it can change.

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