My friend, Diana Szasz, left us on July 14, 2014. It has been one month since cancer stole her from us. I guess that you might think that LinkedIn is not the place to write about a friend that we just lost, but I met Diana through work. Our friendship was initially formed when we both worked at Gennum, in Burlington, Ontario, so I think that it is appropriate to post something about her here on LinkedIn.
When I first started working in the Marketing department at Gennum, Diana came up from Manufacturing, where she has been working as a Process Engineer, to say hello. Diana was cheerful, had a lovely smile, and was very friendly when she welcomed me to Gennum. She offered to take me on a tour of Manufacturing. During our initial conversation, we learned that we had so many things in common, we were both engineers, new Canadians with young families, and we were both trying to juggle a career with our family obligations. These commonalities made us click right away! A bond was created between us, and that bond stayed even after both of us changed jobs, careers and moved on.
Diana was generous, and after we got to know each other a little better, she invited me to have lunch at her home. I used to commute from out of town, so this was a welcome change. Diana’s thoughtfulness was extraordinary, even when she visited her family home in Hungary she brought me back a small present that I still have today. It was fortunate that at one point, Diana and I had the opportunity to work together in the same department, and from this, our bond grew stronger.
Diana and I kept in touch over the years, sometimes on purpose and sometimes by chance. We would bump into each other at events and tradeshows. Sometimes she would just send me an email to say hello and how are you doing. The years passed by, and one day a couple of years ago, we met for lunch and really reconnected. As we had both gone through major changes in our lives, there was much to catch up on. When I met her, it was as if the years melted away. She looked the same, always appearing healthy and young, and even more important; she was just as cheerful and kind. She told me that she was going away for a short trip, so we made plans to meet after her return.
One day, soon after we met for lunch I received an ominous email from her informing me that she had just been diagnosed with a brain tumour. She was going in for surgery immediately, which would be followed by chemotherapy. I remember sitting and staring at the message in shock and disbelief.
After her surgery, I started visiting Diana regularly. Well, she fought and tried different things, but in the end Diana moved to hospice where she spent her last two weeks. I saw her at hospice a few times and even though she knew she was nearing the end, she was still worried about her sons and other people in her life.
Diana left us peacefully on July 14. Diana’s memorial service was very fitting. It was easy to see how many people were touched by her generous loving presence. It was a big reunion for those of us who were lucky enough to have her in our lives. She leaves behind two sons and her husband.
I miss her!