I have been a stay at home mom for most of the last 7+ years. Sometimes when that happens, you lose track of your friends and your social life may merely consist of a conversation on Facebook. I do not get out much and I do not get a whole heck of a lot of adult interaction. Because of this, the interactions I DO have, those which most probably do not consider, have become my social life. Perhaps it is conversations with the mail carrier, maybe you visit with the same server at the coffee shop every morning, going to the hair salon may be the social event of the month for many. Every day interactions become an important part of our lives. And I think it is because of this why I am taking the death of one of these people, whom I have interacted with throughout the past few years, so hard. 

I have had the same General Practitioner Physician for over 15 years. I love her and her staff. Sometimes she is not available and I – as well as my children and husband – have been scheduled with the Nurse Practitioner at the office. I started seeing her more and more during a time when I was trying to lose weight. She helped a lot of people with weight issues and even held a support group for them. During that time I really began to like her – as a professional and a person. Her name was Tricia Seidler.

Tricia always took her time with us. Never once did I feel rushed or that I was somehow bothering her or taking up her time (even though I probably was). I am a high maintenance type patient as I have health anxiety. I also have other issues which have had me at the office more than most people. They know me well over there.

Tricia always spoke to me as though I was on the same level as her. She never talked down to me, she never was anything short of respectful, she never made me feel less than. She always validated my concerns, took me seriously and listened intently. She would call me to check in after an appointment. She ordered tests to make sure no stone was left unturned. She was honest and didn’t sugar coat or patronize. She was personable and laid back. And my favorite part about her was her humor. We would laugh and joke and it always put me at ease.

Not many people enjoy going to the Doctor. But she did make it a more enjoyable experience. Always smiling, always delightful and always positive – how reassuring to an anxious patient. Tricia meant a lot to me – more than I realized until this morning when I learned of her death. When I read the news, I was shocked and instantly sobbed. Not only will I miss her presence at our future appointments, but I think of the pain her children are enduring. I think about her husband’s sorrow. I think about her parents losing a child. And I think of her missing the growth of her boys. It breaks my heart. 37 years old and she has accomplished so much. Yes, there is the schooling and career and marathons and awards…but what’s more important is the legacy she left behind.

When a person passes away and when those left behind first and foremost remember their smile – like an instant picture in their mind – that is a legacy we should all hope to leave. She helped me. She helped many. She made me laugh. She made me feel better. She helped me lose weight. She was comforting when my daughter was sick. She was concerned. She was considerate. She was beautiful. She was smart. If I listed all that she was, I would run out of space. She put a dent in the world, one which cannot be filled by any other. And I can say with all certainty that she will be missed – more than she probably ever realized she would be.


2 thoughts on “Thoughts About An Unrealized Friend

  1. just scrolling through some of your older posts. great reminder and tribute. thanks for the reminder to take the time to tell someone you appreciate them. I was just telling my wife this morning about someone I feel this way about. Think I need to jot them a note.

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