I have to warn you that this is not a “feel-good” kind of post. I am in the midst of a severe bout of feeling sorry for myself.

I lost a friend last Sunday. She was on vacation with her husband visiting family out of state when she collapsed at dinner and was unable to be revived.

She was not only a friend, she was a co-worker — one of my few peers in the company. Her department and my department were complementary in our functions and we often shared resources as well as depended on one another for insight, input, and support.

I was traveling to a customer meeting on Monday morning, driving from the airport to the customer’s offices with other members of the senior management team, when we got the call from HR. Even though we were all in shock, we had to carry on the meeting as if nothing happened while surreptitiously crafting an announcement informing our staff of her loss.

Her loss left a major hole, not only in our hearts, but in our organization. She had a critical function that could not be left in a vacuum. I have, at least temporarily, inherited her job functions, responsibilities, and staff. So not only do I have to get my head around the fact that I’ve lost a friend, I have to come to grips with assuming her role.

The implications are that my 40-50 hour work weeks just grew to be at least 60 hours a week, drowning my ambitions for working out after work and reducing my stress level.

There are some days that I just cannot cope, and I’m sorry that I’ve made you endure one of them. However, I do appreciate you caring. Thanks for checking in.