Last week Thursday, I got the most devastating news…too much for one day. I saw the missed call of a client we had recruited the Head of HR for. Following the missed call was a text saying ‘Good Morning, Please call me’.
I love hearing from my clients but when it comes to Recruitment, no news is indeed good news. So when an MD I have not heard from in a while calls, I usually suspect something is required of us or something has gone wrong. In this case I suspected the Head of HR must have resigned.
So I returned his call as quickly as I could and my suspicions were right, but permanently so. This was no ordinary resignation. Shade, the Head of HR had indeed resigned, she had left this world, and she had passed on. Just like that.
How? I just saw her at the last HR Bootcamp Conference in December. We exchanged pleasantries in our usual way and now her MD was saying she never came back from Christmas break. She had died of cancer. In her MD’s words ‘no amount of money could have saved Shade.’ The cancer was misdiagnosed
for too long and detected too late to be treated. We spoke for 15 more minutes as I expressed my deep shock all through. Just like that, she was gone, leaving 3 kids and a husband behind. She was 37 years old. As sad as it was, the agenda had to move on inevitably to her replacement as a new
Head of HR was required urgently. Such is this life. Life will go on, with
or without us.
As if that was not enough, that evening, I remembered I owed another colleague a phone call. He happens to be the Group Head of HR for a Client firm and I am always keen to keep abreast with his well-being and any issues that I could help with. I had missed his call 2 days ago and really needed to catch up with him. We had almost finished the conversation when he chipped in ‘ Shey you heard, Patience is no more? ‘Patience,’ I said, ‘No, what do you mean no more, she left?’ ‘She has passed, I thought you heard, he said.’ ‘Heard how? I said, ‘What is this? Are you for real? What kind of double dose bad news is going on today?’ I was gob-smacked, I could not say a word, my thoughts just were shuttling between how? And when?
I started thinking of the forwarded prayer WhatsApp voice messages Patience sent to me daily. It was only then I realised that the last one I received from her was on the 31st of January. She is connected to me on Facebook yet I had not even seen the condolences on her wall. This life, we are all too
busy grappling with our own lives.
Patience was 46 years old, single, no kids, a Senior Management staff of a well-known Oil and Gas firm, she had resigned a few weeks before, she must have been ill for a while. I was told she had been depressed and had died of a stroke. Just like that. I reminisced of the last time we saw in her office. We must have spent an hour gisting about everything but work. But How? How can this young woman just go like that?
In one day, I was informed how 2 young women just left this world, unexpectedly. I will not even begin telling you about the other deaths that have occurred this year because I will console myself that they are older folks and had at least lived for over 7 decades.
My dear family, friends and colleagues, this life is too short. The number of dead people that I have connected to me via social media is growing.
Every day, we say ‘not my portion’ but whose portion is it really? Did you think these ladies planned to die so young?
This year, Kendor Consulting is pushing forward a Wellness Agenda, Wellness as it concerns mental, social and physical well-being. Thus, we are on the lookout for individuals and organisations to support our cause as partners and sponsors. Please look out for and attend these events, the first for the year is on Employee Wellness and is scheduled for Thursday March 15th, 2018. It aims to explore the benefits of wellness while helping individuals and organisations implement wellness goals. To enquire, send an email to email@example.com or visit the HR Nigeria group on Facebook for
Only a well employee and organisation can give their best and be productive. Sick and dead people operate at low to zero levels. Yesterday, I was reading comments of women killing themselves to provide for their families. A sick or dead woman cannot help her family.
A lot of us live very stressful lives, running crazy schedules, trying to provide for ourselves and families. Please in all our hustling, let us remember that life will go on with or without us. Please find a balance, as dead people are at best…in loving memory.
May the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.
Ps: I had to change the names of both ladies in respect for their privacy.
Copyright, Adora Ikwuemesi, March 12, 2018
Adora is the Founder of Kendor Consulting, a Human Resources Management