I had not intended on writing a blog post today, but after seeing the outpouring of posts for a tremendous women, I thought it maybe okay to share this.
Erin and I met many SunLife years ago when we both were Team Leaders. All the team leaders would meet every other month to talk about project/strategies/ ideas . If I am honest with you, at the beginning Erin and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but we also didn’t know each other that well. In 2011, we both found ourselves moving to a new role and working on the same team as claim examiners. Erin and I were to sit next to other and in time, began forming a friendship.
One of the very first things I learnt about Erin was that she was direct. If I wanted an honest opinion, Erin would be the person I would get it from. Now you may think this could be a bad thing, but in a world of fluffiness and people treading around the truth, it became one of the most treasured characteristics about Erin. Erin never tolerated my whining or B.S and this became apparent one day when we started talking about money. It started as a passing comment about budgets and before I knew it, Erin had built me an excel sheet, pie charts included to help me manage my life. The days I would come back from lunch ,fast food in hand and plop down next to Erin, I would be greeted with a twirl of the chair and raised eyebrow as if to say ‘ aren’t you suppose to be saving money!?!?’. Her tough love combined with her constant caring nature never changed and I couldn’t have been more thankful for it.
It wasn’t long before we discovered that we were not only work neighbours , we also lived houses apart at the time. We would often pass each other on the way in and out of our circle and found ourselves gossiping about our sketchy neighbours. Then there was the time I needed to move out my house and out of my rental agreement. The landlords I had at the time were a nightmare to say the least. When Erin got a hold of this information, she started researching the heck of the landlord tenant acts , calling the tenant board and giving them what for. I have to chuckle thinking back on this. I think there was a point when I was genuinely concerned that she was going have it out with the landlords themselves.
I remember when Erin first told us about her diagnosis and her treatment. If there was a single part of her that was scared, we barely saw it. That’s the thing about Erin, she was tough, never with a pity party and as strong-willed as they come. At one on point, I received a diagnosis from my Dr. that unnerved me. While Erin was out of work receiving her own treatment, we would text back and forth and I eventually told her what was going on after she persisted that I tell her what was wrong. Whilst in the midst of her own treatment, Erin checked up on me, calming any nerves I had and seeing how I was feeling. Erin often came to work to visit with a few of us in between treatments. She frequently came clutching baked gifts and ready to catch up on the latest news. Never was her treatment the focus of the visit, she would never allow it to be that way.
We were delighted when Erin returned to work, only to be heartbroken when we found out she would be leaving work again, becoming terminal. As no surprise to anyone, Liam and Chris became Erin’s biggest concern. While she only spoke about it briefly , you could tell her utmost concern was that they would both be okay. It only takes a quick scroll through Erin’s Facebook to see the amount of love she had for Liam.
Erin and I had planned to get together last Monday for coffee. We had chatted a bit about the idea of me writing a blog post from her, in case there was something she wanted to say. Our coffee date never happened as Erin was admitted into the hospital. We continued to text a bit through out the week, joking about this pudding pop game she continued to send me invites for. Her humor never failed.
On Thursday night, I had a dream about Erin that shook me up enough to tell a couple of close friends. I text Erin on Friday and never received a response.
Saturday came with the heartbreaking news that Erin had passed away. I think like most of us, we cried tears for Chris, Liam and all of Erin’s family and close friends. Erin was a co-worker and friend to me, I can not imagine how this loss is affecting her family and closest friends.
As many of us have said on recent Facebook posts, Erin it was our pleasure to know you. I have thought about how Erin would react if she saw this post. She would probably roll her eyes and say it wasn’t needed, not that she wouldn’t be grateful. It’s just that Erin was about other people and never shone the spotlight on herself. But this women deserves to be celebrated, even now that she is gone. Erin was selfless, kind, loving and most of all real.
I don’t have any photos of my own of Erin so I thought I would post the one from her Facebook that reminds me the most of who she was. I hope that it was okay to borrow.
You shall be missed