I awoke this morning and learned, via Facebook, that a friend and former colleague at Standing Partnership passed away over the weekend. It’s not the ideal way to learn of the death of a friend, but with the way news travels and the speed of social platforms, it’s become more common to find out from Facebook first. Yes, it was sudden and unexpected and it is not an understatement to say that there are many people in St. Louis and Orlando, Fla. and elsewhere reeling from the shock.
Amber Morris was a fellow vice president at Standing, where I worked with her for more than five years. I remember when I interviewed with Amber for the job at Standing thinking how impressive she was and how pretty. (I also remember noticing her tiny diamond nose ring and thinking she must be the rebel of the office!)
I learned from Amber and loved being part of a team that included her. I watched her very capably tackle and manage big clients and dive into social media with a personal blog to help her learn from the inside out, what she could to inform clients about blogging and social networks. I liked to think of Amber as one of my “blog spawn” — yet another person I pushed into launching and enjoying the blogging life. Her posts about cooking and crafts are inspirational, but as a long-distance coworker, I especially liked learning about the animals Amber fostered (and sometimes adopted). The best, however, was learning about Amber finding the love of her life in Shane, someone she waited a long time to find. It was so good to know she’d found so much happiness with him.
Not only did I work with Amber, but her mom, Sharon, worked with us as well. Sharon isn’t just Amber’s mom, she’s been kind of the office mom. I am always delighted and cheered to hear her voice answer the phone when I call the St. Louis office. My heart just aches for Amber’s parents, her boyfriend Shane, and all of our colleagues and friends at Standing. I can’t imagine how they will endure the silence from Amber’s office and the hole left in the team, that empty chair at the table. I wish that I could be there now to give whatever comfort I could possibly impart. If you knew Amber, or any of my teammates at Standing, keep them all in your thoughts and prayers today and in the coming weeks. (If you’d like to leave a note of condolence for the team, you can do so at https://www.facebook.com/standingpartnership )
I find it ironic that one of Amber’s last blog posts for Standing Partnership was called Tears at the Office — and was about communications work done in the interest of unwanted pets. Amber was a total softie when it came to puppies and kittens. In fact, one of my first thoughts on learning of her death was how much her pets will miss her, as well. There are sure to be tears in the office today.
To readers of this blog — I’m sorry for the dramatic departure from the usual content, but sometimes life overtakes work and in these cases, there’s nothing to be done but honor the moment and share what’s foremost on my mind.
I am so sorry for your loss.
This is a beautifully written post and a wonderful tribute to your friend and colleague.
Hi Mj. Beautiful post. I’m missing you too today. Something like this always makes me want to draw family and friends close – especially those who are also mourning this loss. Hugs to you too.
I am so sorry. Just so sorry. There are no others words but I am sorry. Your words are beautiful. A gift to her family and her friends….I am sure that your words wrap a circle around them in this great time of sorrow and grief. I am here if you want to go for a walk and talk…
Oh MJ – I am speechless. My heart breaks for Sharon & Herb and everyone at Standing. I am praying for strength and comfort – and wishing you were here so I could have a hug and share tears.
I love that you can depart from the usual and “honor the moment”. The moment is all we have, and if we don’t inhabit it we miss so much. I am sorry for this sad time for you and everyone who loved Amber.
What a beautiful tribute to your colleague.
Thank you for such a heartfelt remembrance of Amber, Mj. Wish you were here to share a hug!
Thanks, MJ. It helps to know we have so many good friends.
Mj, I’m sorry you didn’t see my note before Facebook. These days good news travels fast; tragic news, unfortunately, even faster. Thank you for your wonderful reflection and celebration of Amber. She was truly a special friend and colleague to many of us! She’ll be deeply missed.
Melissa, nothing to be sorry about — I’m the tech obsessed one who checks social networks before getting out of bed in the morning — e-mail is usually the last checked source. The speed at which sad news travels is striking. I hope that you have felt enveloped today by all the support and comfort offered from the wide net that Standing has cast. Hugs to you — wish I were there to deliver real ones.