(Names are changed for her privacy; she and I shared an office. We didn't always get agree about everything, but there was always mutual respect.)
When I arrived at the office yesterday morning, (our supervisor) told me that you had been let go.
My immediate reaction was an unrelenting sadness – sad because of the position that you are now in – sad because I had lost my (not always) .
Professionally and personally you have nurtured me in countless ways:
In areas that I was unfamiliar with I always knew that I could turn around and ask your advice – whether it would be how to find some important information on the Internet – the meaning or correct use of a word – the correct approach to answering a “[first name of publisher] question”.
I am a healthier, more productive and kinder person for having known you. Because of you [her acupuncturist/my East Asian medicine mentor and sensei] and [her flute teacher, with whom I connected her] are a part of my life – because of you I learned how to be kind to my cat. I am a better person in so many ways for having known you and I sincerely appreciate and will always be grateful for your influence on me.
I am here – if I can help – just ask.
So I emailed her back, thanking her for her note and asking her how I might word some of what I did for her, professionally, on my resume. She replied:
Don’t limit yourself to just Software research.
What I found amazing about you – and I counted on -- was your ability to find anything on the Web – to input the most precise search query which would return only the most relevant sites.Please use me as a reference since I am the head of the web department at [where I worked].