In Memoriam-My Letter To Christine

There are special people who come and go in your life, who leave a lasting impression. Christine Kent, our beloved Career Coach, Mentor, Executive Recruiter, Counselor and Confidante, passed away on Saturday, September 8th at 46 years of age from a brief but terminal illness.

Our fears are like dragons guarding our deepest treasures

                                                                        ~Elizabeth Glaser

There are special people who come and go in your life, who leave a lasting impression.  Christine Kent, our beloved Career Coach, Mentor, Executive Recruiter, Counselor and Confidante, passed away on Saturday, September 8th at 46 years of age from a brief but terminal illness. Christine’s last blog on greenlightjobs’ in July addressed the fears we face when challenged with insurmountable obstacles in our path towards finding what we truly want in life.  Christine quoted from Elizabeth Glaser in that blog, and it seems a very fitting tribute in part to the fear we all must conquer in our lives regardless of the situation we face.

Christine was challenged with this fear in her final days, as we all would be if faced with a terminal illness and a virtual death sentence.  She became the dragon guarding her deepest treasure and fought hard to conquer the unknown enemy that consumed her.  We all have faced our demons and at times we may have a hard time accepting our own fate or what may lie ahead and choose instead a different state, one of denial, illusion and maybe even disbelief.

Someone once wrote that if you have nothing better to replace denial with, leave it alone.  It is what protects us after all from ourselves, from the unknown and in Christine’s case from an imminent death.  With Christine, her deepest treasure was her unfaltering loyalty to those she worked with and her family, her devotion to her work and the genuine caring she showed to all she helped with in their careers.

Whether you were a seasoned executive looking for career guidance, a graduating student updating your portfolio, or maybe you were one of the hundreds of readers who tuned in every other week for her latest installment of “The Career Couch,” Christine shared her deepest treasure-her ability to help others and to share her honesty, experience and witty sense of humor in a way that made you feel special.

Giving back instead of giving in was more Christine’s style.  She made sense from the senseless and added depth to shallow ways of looking at things.  She offered endless possibilities and was an optimist no matter how difficult the decision or the challenge. Christine and I worked together for eight years and we met at an outplacement seminar as she had recently lost her job.  Christine stood out because she took the initiative in a room full of other people who had also lost their jobs by fearlessly pursuing me asking how she could help me or help my business.  She didn’t know me, she didn’t even understand fully what I did but she followed her instincts and got rid of her fear of the unknown and jumped in.  She pursued an opportunity one that she created and I eventually hired her part-time and then made her full time a year later.

She took risks, she made friends and she never forgot those who helped her along the way.  She was not just an exemplary employee she was a friend, a sister and a wonderful human being.  She was blessed by having been surrounded by so many who loved her and by working in an office that overlooked her beloved Pacific Ocean.  It’s times like these that make you think of what is really important in life.  It’s times like these when you know what life is worth and to count your blessings.  It’s times like these that you know who your friends are and it’s times like these that makes all of the uncertainty about your life’s purpose crystal clear.

Christine, sister, friend, co-worker, and martini-slinger, we will all love and miss you now and forever and we are blessed to have known you even if for a little while.  Thank -you for your support of our goals, your encouragement of our dreams, your laughter at our bad jokes and your belief that all was possible in the Universe if you just focused your intention, lay hold of your dragons and go after what you are most passionate about.   We all raise our glass to you my dear for making this a much more enjoyable ride.  May your career couch be ever so soft, ever so serene and have the best view of the ocean heaven has to offer.