About an hour ago, the title of this post ceased to be true for me. I feel very strange. There was a plane crash in Ireland this morning and all day I was kind of half keeping an eye on the breaking news to make sure no-one I knew was affected (my sister's in-laws are from Cork as well as a good friend's family). But since I couldn't really think of anyone who would need to be flying from Belfast to Cork, I wasn't paying that much attention. And then saw the headline and realised that one of the six dead is someone I used to work with. I'm a little bit in shock I think and this is one instance where I am feeling the big cultural difference between Germany and Ireland. Two people happened to be in my office when I read it and, knowing at least one of them would have worked with him on a project a couple of years ago I told them (well, I also said 'fuck' and possibly 'shit' quite loudly when I read it - what can I say, my first reactions to anything shocking are almost always going to involve curse words) so they realised something was up. And I got nearly zero reaction. And then they went off about their business. In Ireland there would most likely have been a bit of chat, "who?", "where was he from, which one was he again?", "oh yeah, I know him"... ... ... kind of like a six degrees of separation thing. And it doesn't matter that you're talking crap, it's all about , I don't know, processing the information and at least spending a couple of minutes talking about the now dead person, which is of course not giving any more meaning to their life but at least it's, well, I suppose, sort of acknowledging them. Or something. Sorry, it's hard to explain and I've never really spent time thinking about it.
He was a lovely guy, quiet and gentle in any dealings I had with him. We sat not too far away from each other for a year or so and then he moved to the Belfast office so I only saw him a couple of times a month when he was back down and looking for a desk for the day. But we'd almost always have a bit of a chat. And the first time I went back to Dublin after moving here, he happened to be there and we had a lovely chat as well. But that's kind of the way things are in Ireland and not so much in an office (at least not in my office) in Germany. That was nearly two years ago and I haven't seen or talked to him since. And yet, I'm still feeling sad. My heart goes out to everyone who lost a loved one on that flight today. If the way I feel about someone I barely knew is this horrible, I cannot imagine how distressing it must be to lose someone you love in such a sudden, shocking way. R.I.P.