Web Services Librarian

Libraries + Grief

Grief and Loss show up on everyone’s doorstep periodically. I suppose it is a fact of life and one should not be surprised by the fact that it happens. But still, these things come as a shock.

Just as a summer storm can rise up out of the midsummer afternoon Miami atmosphere, a familiar face can suddenly disappear from one’s life. Even though it is inevitable, the boom of a loud thunderclap, or tragic news, can leave us shaken.

In the span of 3 months, I lost two library colleagues. One was a former library director, the man who gave me my first opportunity to call myself Librarian. The latter was a colleague from another department in my current library.

Dr. Leroy Hommerding

I checked my email in early January and my world paused. Someone shared a news story involving the Fort Myers Beach Public Library.

Dr. Hommerding, library director, was opening the library on Sunday morning for a Friends Booksale. A homeless man was waiting for him.

After an argument and a scuffle, the man pulled a machete and proceeded to kill Leroy. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Hommerding was just going to work. He never came home.

Michelle Estep

Michelle was a cataloging specialist. I admit, I do not know the depths of her specialty. I can only say that she specialized in original cataloging.

A friend stopped by one day to share the news that Michelle suffered a heart attach and died shortly afterwards from complications.

I will always remember Michelle as a shy librarian who would come alive when discussing her favorite reads. When our First Thursdays Lecture Series implemented a Roundtable discussion component based on our latest reads, she truly shone when contributing her literary adventure.

This is just a reminder to live our your life. Every day is a gift and should be treasured. Say what needs saying. Do what needs doing. Read what needs reading.

Love the ones who need loving.

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