For anyone who has lost a close friend unexpectedly, you understand. You understand the feeling you get every time you wonder onto their Facebook page for the 50th time just to convince yourself it’s not real. And to quickly remind yourself that it is. You understand the confusion, anger, sadness, and helplessness. You’ve asked yourself numerous times “but why him/her?!” It just doesn’t make sense. And as this week (one of the worst in my entire life I may add) is slowly coming to an end, I’m starting to realize that it will NEVER make sense. And that it’s okay to learn how to live with that.
Dr. Michael Steven Scott was taken from us on August 3, 2015. That day will forever be a gloomy one for the rest of my life. Similar to how it was when Snape took Dumbledore’s life with his own wand. Yes, I just refrenced Harry Potter. You see, we would spend hours upon end discussing how much better life would be if we were at Hogwarts. And because of that, I will never read another J K Rowling masterpiece without thinking about my dear friend.
You know how they say “it’s the people you work with that make you either love or hate your job”. That was Michael for me. I met Michael during my first year here at Hunter Pharmacy Services. He too was a pharmacist. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore everyone I work with here. But Michael was the first one that really took me in. He treated me like a friend before he ever treated me like a coworker. In the beginning it was mostly him mentoring me on how to be a good pharmacist, telling me what the nurses really meant when they would ask bizarre questions, proofreading all of my interventions before sending them out to make sure I didn’t make an absolute fool of myself, shadowing me during my “vulnerable, scared shitless new pharmacist” period. As we grew closer he allowed me to take off the pharmacist training wheels and practice on my own. This was great because it allowed more time for us to talk about where we wanted to go for brunch, what type of prosecco made the best mimosas, the newest/hottest shows on neftlix, and of course our beloved friend Harry. Michael and I would even go to his favorite place (Hanabi) at lunch for bento boxes just to get away from the office and gossip. We loved to gossip. Quite honestly, the hardest part about losing him is that I don’t have him to talk to about losing him. If he were here he would totally get what I mean.
After the initial shock and confusion, I’ve had some time to sit down and reflect about everything that has happened this past week. I’ve decided that even though it will never be easy to accept the fact that he’s gone, he would want me to LEARN something from this. Because in case you didn’t know Michael very well, he was quite the scholar. He would want me to use this experience and allow it to transform me into a better person, pharmacist, and friend in some way. So this is what I’ve come up with thus far:
Life is too damn short. For all of us. Whether it be a loved one, a family member, a friend, or a stranger. Not a single damn day is promised for tomorrow. It matters not your health status, your financial status, nor your common sense or way of life. Shit happens and none of us will ever be prepared for the unknown. So with that being said, why not live every day like it’s your last?! Okay okay, I know. This has obviously been said before. But now I get it. Don’t get me wrong, I in no way believe that people should walk around living their lives in fear that the end is near. Absolutely not. But to live and love with your entire heart, without questioning your intentions or desires. To go after your dreams regardless of the circumstances or the set backs that may come out of it. To react to people the way you truly feel you should react, whether it be with kindness, bluntness, or even malice. Just BE YOU. Because regardless of what the haters may say, there are a lot of people that think the sun shines out of your ass whether you know it not. And you shouldn’t spend a single day not being you in order to please others. Be genuine and soak up all of your strengths and flaws. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your family. You owe it to the world to see how great you truly are. Michael was that way. He was going to tell you exactly how he felt whether you liked it or not. He was 100% Michael, 100% of the time. That is a rare quality in a person, and it is one that I will strive to gain from here on out.
Listen more, worry less. Since life is too damn short, take the time to really take it all in. Stop and smell the freshly printed paper (because that shit smells better than roses). Look away from your computer for a couple of minutes to engage in conversation. Find out when your coworkers birthdays are and plan to have goodies ready for them. Do office pranks. Rather than bitching at the fact that some doctor didn’t take your recommendation, laugh at the fact that he thinks so highly of himself. Focus on loving life more and all of it’s little details. And LISTEN. This one is especially important to me since I have ADHD and what not and SQUIRREL!
Set an example. This one is hard for me to talk about without having a full blown Schlitterbahn water park flow of tears. These last few days of reflection have made me realize that my next step from here is to be like Michael for someone else. To practice leadership through friendship. To do my duty as a friend, pharmacist, citizen by striving to mentor someone when they really need it the most. Even if that means through listening and/or offering your time to be a friend. We all have our shit. Hell, Michael surely had his. But that didn’t stop him from being a genuinely good guy and friend to me. He didn’t owe me anything, yet he really cared about my success. I hope that I can be half the friend and mentor for someone else one day that he was for me.
Snape was Michael’s favorite Harry Potter character, and Snape taught us that heroes can hide in the most unlikely of places. You were my hero Michael. In so many ways. I’m going to do my best to carry on your legacy of social chair here, and I couldn’t be more honored to follow in your footsteps. Because you know me. I solemnly swear that I will ALWAYS be up to no good. (Harry Potter reference for all you muggles out there).
❤ xoxo, HG