Sudden Death

I received a call from a close ex-colleague yesterday, telling me that my previous National Sales Manager had just passed away the night before. I thought he was joking & asked him if it was an April’s Fool prank. Apparently not. I was shocked beyond words!

This guy was only 44 years old, didn’t have any chronic disease (or at least nothing serious like cancer or heart disease or kidney failure sort of thing), and it all happened very quickly & suddenly. Apparently, he was not feeling too well the past 2 days, was feverish & lethargic. Then that night, after dinner, his temperature shot up, his wife called the ambulance but he was already unconscious & had stopped breathing…and never woke up again. Nobody knew the exact cause of death…his family members didn’t want to do a post-mortem.

To begin with, I had never liked this fella anyway. But to be fair, I’m not that close to him either. He joined my ex-company just 6 months before I left. In that 6 months that I knew him, he had proven to be incompetent, political & tactless. And worse of all, he had once backstabbed me (of all people!). Well, 6 months after he came on board, 7 (good) people left at one time (including me…ahem!). More good people started to leave one-by-one after that. In fact, ever since he came in, their sales just went down the dumps…from achieving 105% of company’s overall sales target the year before he joined to a negative growth last year…which is in just 3 years. How awesome is that?!

True, he did invite me to his house for BBQ before…and he did send CNY SMS greetings to me after I left…but my impression of him had never been good. Even after I left, I heard of many stories where he deliberately found faults with some people & drove them out of the company. Undoubtedly, he was disliked by many.

So when I heard the news, I was shocked more than anything else. But some people thought I sounded happy & that I was such a horrible person! Haha. No lah, I wasn’t happy…or sad. I was just excited to tell people about the big news. And, I didn’t intend to go to his wake or pay him any last respect, which I didn’t think he deserve anyway. Besides, I didn’t want to appear to be a hypocrite. But much to my surprise, the very people whom he had ‘hurt’ were all ready to pay him their last respect. I thought that was so weird because when he was alive, they were all saying bad things about him…but when he’s dead, suddenly “oh he’s my friend!”. I was confused. But I was also ashamed of myself for being…unforgiving, I suppose…when I wasn’t even exactly his ‘victim’ compared to many others who had had it worse from him.

I also heard that he had changed and been treating people much better lately. Many people said that one of the reasons for his death could largely be due to stress from work. He was organising the kick-off meeting just last week, where he had to present most of the strategies & plans. Apparently he worked very hard on the presentation…he had put a lot of time & effort into it…across sleepless nights…just to make sure the whole meeting & annual dinner & team-building were a success. So perhaps it was very unfair of me to judge him for his incompetency…so he had actually worked very hard & tried his best. And I’d probably never knew what kind of sh** he must have gone through, especially with pressure coming from all angles. And perhaps he did try his best to be liked by his colleagues too. And the fact that he probably died due to work…how could I even compare myself to him?

So, I just came back from his wake moments ago. The funeral is tomorrow.

I thank the Lord that he did not have to go through long-term sufferings & pain…and I pray that may his soul rest in peace. Amen.

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