An Unexpected Death

My old boss unexpectedly died.

My old boss gave me a lot of lessons in life.  2 weeks into my job he told me I was useless and he had no value for me.  He then proceeded to tell me my opinion didn’t matter so long as I worked for him.

That dreadful day, I decided I’d suck it up for 2 years as I thought I needed consistency on my resume, and I decided to keep my opinion to myself no matter what happened (which was a ginormous task for me as I am rather opinionated and typically that’s part of what makes me good in my profession).  Honestly, we simply didn’t feel like we were in a financial position where I could just quit my job, nor was I willing to jeopardize my career over a not-very-nice boss.

So, I stayed.  In 2 years, I never expressed an opinion when he was around. I missed multiple family events because I was expected to be working.  At one point I was promoted, just to have it taken away the next day. Yet, in those 2 years, I also won more projects then my senior counterparts and earned the company a decent amount of money.  I also worked 60-70+ hours almost every single week.  I even organized multiple charitable events for my company and volunteered on multiple professional boards.  At the same time, I also hid 3 miscarriages from my employer.  I had a D&C and returned to work the next day.  I also terminated for medical reasons at an abortion clinic and went back to work 3 days later.  Asides from maximizing my contractual bonuses, I was never thanked nor was my hard work acknowledged.  In fact, I was even told while being in the emergency room at the hospital going through our 4th miscarriage (which they knew about) was no excuse to miss a meeting.  This by the way was my last straw and resulted in my first attempt to quit which I was eventually successful in doing.

It turns out, my old boss gave me a direct lesson in how verbal abuse impacts individuals.  And, to this day I am amazed at the impact his treatment of me impacted all facets of my life – as a very strong women, I was stunned at how quickly he brought me down and how vulnerable I felt at that office.  But, at the same time, he also gave me a very valuable reminder in the importance of decent human treatment and basic compassion and respect.

But regardless of how much I hated that job, I was rather surprised when I was told he died – I was emotionless. I was stunned as his death was rather unexpected, but I really didn’t care one way or another.  I’ve sat on these emotions for a few days, trying to figure out what I’m really feeling.  It turns out, I do not feel bad that he died – I am not filled with sorrow that a fellow human being died much too soon based on his age.  It’s not that I ever wished bad upon him (or anyone for that matter), but I just feel completely indifferent that he’s dead.  Initially this reaction really surprised me, and yet after a few days, I kind of think maybe this is normal given the circumstances of our relationship? 

Honestly, it feels rather odd admitting to myself and the world that I didn’t care that another human being died.  I can barely bring myself to read the news these days because all the stories of death and pain break my heart, yet when it comes to this situation, I feel rather cold about it.  I don’t know, maybe this isn’t the type of thing that “good” people should admit?  Maybe these are the types of thoughts that I will feel compelled to delete if I ever attach my name to my blog?  I dunno, even though I’m okay with owning my own response to his death, it just seems like such an inappropriate reaction to the death of another human being.

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17 Comments on “An Unexpected Death

  1. What you had to endure enraged me but the fact that you got yourself out of it makes me proud. I am just sorry you had to go through all that. Probably strange but normal to feel indifferent. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am definitely very happy that I eventually quit that job and I had a few others who believed in me and helped me start my own consulting firm (which I didn’t talk about in this post). It’s amazing the power that negative people hold over others, but even more amazing the influence that positive and supportive people have on our lives! 😊

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    • I have to agree with Mamajo. I think it’s probably pretty normal to feel that way after the way he treated you. I kind of wanted to punch him as I was reading this post and I’m not usually a violent person!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s normal. People can kind of canonise folk who die but the fact is, nasty people die just as nice ones do.

    I alluded to it on my blog but my relative died and I wasn’t torn up with grief. The relative was a very mean person who pushed everyone away. It’s only the fact that my mum cared for this person on their deathbed that they had anyone with them when they died. And that is sad. I found that sad, but I wasn’t personally really sad about the death, because I felt that person was no longer suffering and miserable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do remember your thoughts about that individual and I guess I feel very similar in that I am definitely not torn up with grief. And you are absolutly right, good people die and so do bad people. And just because they are now dead that doesn’t mean they suddenly become the equivalent of a good person. At least not for me.

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  3. If I were you, my first thought would have been “good riddance to bad rubbish”. You are way too nice to feel emotionless.

    And honestly , what were you thinking working there for 2 years!! Imagine how different your life would have been if you had quit the day he put you off!
    Am glad you finally saw through him and took charge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It amazing, if I worked for someone like that now I’d quit in a heartbeat! In so many ways it’s amazing how far I’ve come in that I now realize we would have made the money stuff work if I quit as we did exactly that when I did eventually quit!

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  4. It’s not abnormal at all. People love to promote someone to sainthood when they die, but I don’t think that does justice to truth and reality. Honouring who the person was is by far more important, to me, than pretending they were something they were not.

    People in my life have died, who weren’t particularly good or kind people – and while I have been sad for their children who lost a parent, or their friends and family, it’s hard to feel sad for them. I do find I feel sorry that they were not able to turn their life around to something positive, as life is so short. But grief over losing them? No.

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  5. I think your feelings are completely normal considering your experiences with this person. I can imagine it would be strange to feel different that you expect (which really is just how society thinks we should feel at the news of a death). I’m so glad you got out of there. Reading again how horribly they treated you (including through your miscarriages) makes me sick. Those losses are horrific and to be treated so poorly doing such a difficult time….man I know I’m preaching to the choir but still! So thankful you’re out of there!!

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  6. I think that’s a pretty normal reaction. I will say I can’t believe you stayed in a job that was that horrible for 2 years! I know that I would have probably walked out that first day. I give you a lot of credit and respect that you stayed and endured it all. But, as someone who has survived verbal/emotional abuse from my ex…it’s completely understandable that you have no emotional reaction towards this man’s death. There were times that I wished my ex harm or death, because he really messed me up for a long time…I don’t wish that on him now, but I feel like if I was told he died in some way, I wouldn’t have any real response either. When someone hurts you like that, you tend to just sort of shut down towards them. So don’t feel horrible for your reaction, it doesn’t make you a bad person. *hugs*

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  7. It would be strange if you felt some kind of sorrow, given into consideration the treatment you had received. I dont think i would have put up with him. I would have looked for another job.

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  8. There is absolutely nothing wrong with how you feel about someone who was so horrible to you. When my biological father died and when my great aunt and two aunts died, I felt the same way… indifferent.

    While I had forgiven them for the way they treated me when they were living, I detached emotion from their being. I have a habit of doing so… even in past relationships…. when I am done I am done ! I don’t wish I’ll of them (after a while anyway lol) but I have no space for them in my heart or mind.

    You are living your truth and being honest and I respect that!

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  9. Hey, he was not kind to you and treated you terribly. Someone like that, no matter how good people like you think they SHOULD feel, does not hold any place in your heart for you to feel a loss when they pass. I say, as long as you’re not cheering about his passing, then it’s perfectly OK and normal to feel the way you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m definitely not sitting over here cheering about his passing. I’d be worried if that were the case. But I definitely feel very indifferent and I appreciate how others will have very different emotional responses based on their relationship with him. And I do feel very badly for his kids and his family.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I always feel badly for the family, no matter how awful the person may have been.

        My mother cheered my grandma’s death – it was truly one of those things that I’ll never forget or forgive. She still speaks very ill of my grandma, a woman she KNOWS I loved dearly. That’s the type of person I know that you are NOTHING like.

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  10. Actually, I was kind of relieved to learn that was your reaction. Considering how horrible he was to you – and, I’m sure, to others – I wouldn’t blame you if you were celebrating.

    I was indifferent about my own father’s death. We were estranged at the time and never had a good relationship… Never much of a relationship at all.

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