Tonight I went to one of our other stores to help run the floor while the memorial service for Anne-Marie was held in the breakroom.
I saw several people I've worked with at other stores who also have worked with Anne-Marie, so that was nice to get to say hello to all of them again. I would guess that somewhere between 30 and 40 people gathered together, dining on the food they all brought, and hopefully sharing good memories of her.
It was odd, though. A couple of customers asked what the reason was for the 'party', because they saw all the people coming in with covered dishes and bags of food. I thought the easiest way to explain it was to tell them the truth. I said, "We're having a memorial service for a store employee who passed away."
As a way of dealing with what happened, my friend has told me in detail, several times, exactly the sequence of events of the night Anne-Marie collapsed: everything that was said, exactly what was told to the 911 operator, how long it took the paramedics to arrive, etc. I know that Nancy needs to do this to help her cope with what happened, and I will listen to her tell me this however many times she needs to. And I am choosing to write about it here, as a way of releasing all that from me. I know that may sound strange, but I think the terribleness of it will diffuse as it spreads out amongst greater numbers of people. For example, Nancy feels terrible about it, I feel concerned about it, you may feel sorry for the people involved, and if you happened to mention it to someone, they might say, 'oh, that's really too bad', with lessening degrees of severity along the way.
Does that make any sense?
Well, that was odd