This has been a week of names. Names coming out one at a time, passed along in hushed tones by a quiet network of friends. Each name evokes an emotion, most of them bittersweet. People we’ve worked with, spent some small portion of our lives with. Names at which the mention might otherwise make you smile, but now just makes you sad. Names of those who didn’t survive the job cuts.
Layoffs always seem so bloody in the headlines–“the carnage”, as one colleague described the day. Those directly impacted know instantly that their lives, and the lives of their families, are forever altered. But it’s a slow motion loss for those of us left behind…certainly less traumatic, but drawn out over the days it takes for all of the names to filter through the hushed rumor mill. It’s not like they published a list for our grieving convenience.
We move sluggishly through the days after, picking up the pieces left by the sudden rapture, sorting out who we call now for the help once provided by one of them. We try to be productive but are inevitably slowed by the inevitable thoughts of “what if.” We reach out to the few we were close to, to offer our sympathy and any pitiful help we both know probably won’t make a difference. We don’t know what else to do…there really is nothing else to do…except just keep moving.
“One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.” –Antonio Porchia