Tragedy Near the Office

As I mentioned in my last post, I left the office early last Friday at the urging of my supervisor and boss. I decided to pack things in around 11:00 am so I could get at least complete a half-shift.

It’s a good thing I did.

Since working at our last building a few miles from our current location, I had gotten into the habit spending my 30-minute lunch in my car just to relax and get some peace and quiet. Originally, however, I started doing this in order to escape the awful stench of microwaved seafood items that many at the office had a tendency to warm up in the employee lounge.

And for the most part, peace and quite is exactly what I get.

But if I had stayed my full shift on Friday, the solitude may have been shattered by the wailing of sirens and I could have been witness to a tragedy that was discussed today during our Monday meeting.

Law professor Katherine Darmer, 47, fell to her death from the parking structure where I spend my lunch in my car. Granted, the time of her fall – at 11:30 am and not yet determined an accident or suicide – is before my scheduled lunch time but the just the thought of it is upsetting. I had heard that some co-workers witnessed the crime scene as they left the building for their lunches and I’m quite sure it was traumatic for them.

I can’t speculate what may or may not have been going through Darmer’s mind before the incident occurred not do I want to pontificate my personal thoughts on suicide. I don’t want to pretend I know it all and think of ways how it could have been an accident instead. This isn’t the time or place for that.

After reading a few articles, it became apparent to me that Darmer was an incredibly smart, passionate, caring mother and wife and will be greatly missed by all those who knew, worked with, or had the pleasure of being under her tutelage. Anybody who is a staunch advocate for marriage equality definitely has a big heart – and is alright in my book.

If her death is ruled an accident, then a tragedy has taken place. And if a suicide, I can only hope that Darmer has somehow found peace.

My thoughts and condolences go out to her family.

UPDATE 2/21/12: The Orange County Coroner’s Office has officially ruled it a suicide.