Dear Karen,

I’m sorry to be writing under these circumstances. I had no idea that it had gotten so bad, so unbearable. I know that you had your personal issues, as we all do, and I know that it was difficult for you to handle over the years. I only recently found out what happened at work and I can’t help but wonder if that was what pushed you to your breaking point. I want you to know that we (those of us who worked with you, past and present) know how badly you were treated at work, and honest to God, Karen, we did everything we could to try and get them to see that they were protecting the wrong people. Everyone was treated poorly– some of us were just better equipped to handle it. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that something like this could happen. While they were going through the motions making sure everyone else was okay, developing new paperwork for the sake of paperwork and wasting time correcting grammar and punctuation on repetitious routine reports, they neglected to take care of the people who were right under their noses. I want to point fingers, I want to be angry at the people who I feel wronged you, but I don’t want this last chat between us to be about them.

I want you to know what I’ve been saying about you. Yes, Karen, I’ve been talking about you behind your back. I’ve been telling people that you were one of the sweetest, most gentle women that I have ever known, that you wouldn’t hurt a fly and that I can’t remember a time where you had anything negative to say about anyone. I tell people that you were always smiling and willing to help, especially to those that treated you like you deserved to be treated. I tell them that although you were always smiling and upbeat on the outside, sometimes you let on how badly you were hurting just below the surface.

Your life, every single life, is, and now was, a big deal. You were someone’s daughter, someone’s greatest joy on the day of your birth. If I never told you before, I want you to know now that you were valued. I know that you know that not everyone treats people the way you were treated; I only wish that you had been surrounded with more of the right kind of people; people with the same kind of heart you had—kind, pure and faithful.

The last thing that I will tell people about you? That you had a gentleness about you, like an innocent lamb. My only peace with this is that your soul has been set free and you are with the God that you were so faithfully devoted. A lamb that was lost, but now is found. My promise to you Karen? To be sure that, although they were blind, they will now see.

Goodnight, Karen.