Calling In Dead
Several years ago, there was a young woman who worked part-time at the lab where I was employed. She was a little strange, but then everybody at the lab was a bit "off". She was thin, I mean really thin, and she sort of had a strange walk, she dragged one foot a lot. I thought that she might have been in an accident, or had a congenital condition. She was very insular, no chit-chat, and no joking. She did her work OK, but didn't like criticism. I suggested she try a different technique one day and she nearly bit my head off.
The next day, she was supposed to open her department. When she was about 10 minutes late, I went over to get things rolling. Just then the counter person came over and gave me the news. The young, thin woman had died the night before. Her mother called in. We found out that she had made herself into a walking toothpick - she had anorexia. Some of the others recalled that she never ate. Anything.
Having cross words with somebody on the day before they died make me feel pretty small and mean.
Every once in a while, I run across an anorexic blog. I get the same feeling of helplessness reading that now as I did then, the day that my coworker called in dead.