This is a difficult blog for me to write. I feel sad, and everyone here at the office is grieving over the death of our co-worker, Tom Baulch. Tom died about a week ago from complications of Sepsis. To most people he was “Tommy” – a 62 year old big kid. He had the curiosity and enthusiasm of a kid of 9 years old, and an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball. In fact, he was so curious about life that he never stopped learning and this high school graduate would routinely wipe the floor with the best trial lawyers in the office at “Jeopardy” in the lunch room. He was not overly educated, but someone who could intelligently talk about nearly any subject. And he did. He could talk, and talk.
I hired Tom as our building manager when he lost his job during the Detroit News Paper strike many years ago. He was our “go to” guy whenever something needed to be done around the office, whether it was cleaning or getting some obscure file. He had a lot of health problems, and struggled with his weight, but he came to work and struggled through his aches and pains. He also had more than his fair share of tragedies in life, but they never took anything out of his propensity for loud and sincere laughter. I think that is what I will miss the most about him – not hearing his laughter bellowing down the hallways. He was a good man who could laugh just as loudly at himself as he would a good joke – and he was a gifted practical joker.
Tom is not the first co-worker we have lost, but he will be missed. Although his laughter has stopped, our love for him will not. R.I.P. Tommy
This guy sounds amazing. I think of this quote from Richard Dawkins when I’m faced with thinking about death, mine or somebody else’s. It’s quite comforting:
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.”