An old colleague of mine passed away yesterday due to complications resulting from alcoholism. We’d been somewhat friendly when I worked at the firm prior to the one I’m now employed by, but had a falling out after I left over politics. It got to the point where I would delete any email he sent without reading, as he was simply being a prick.
What I didn’t remember was that he’d been fired by the old firm, and had never recovered from that. His wife eventually divorced him, but he still lived nearby her and their son in a house she bought for him (she was the breadwinner in the family), and then he became a severe alcoholic — so much so, it finally cost him his life due to a failing liver and kidneys.
I’m saddened now that we never made amends, but another old colleague of ours feels even worse. He’d kept in touch with the other guy when they both got fired, and he’d witnessed all that happened afterwards. His own guilt is rather crushing this morning, as he’d promised himself he’d call the deceased at Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then after the New Year, but never did.
No two people handle adversity the same. Some folks thrive on it, others do what they can and get by as they can, and some just give up. I don’t know the entire story of what happened here, but it sounds like he was just never able to get over losing his job, which set off a sequence of events that just spiraled out of control.
I’ll remember the good times I shared with him at the Old Firm. Rest in Peace, Dave.