Catie is Gone – Reflections on a Friendship
On Friday, Catie and I talked about the project we would begin when she returned from her conference in Jamaica. On Saturday, I got a call from a mutual friend who said, “Caitlyn Antrim is deceased.” I had to repeat it back to her on the call so I could be absolutely sure that was what she had said. When I got my voice again, I said, “I just talked with her yesterday.” After 30 years of friendship, death came swiftly. And now, Catie is gone.
Catie had an enormous intellectual capacity yet never showed it except through her remarkable work. Her writing was flawless. Her thinking was clear and logical. She respected everyone and considered no question unimportant. She should have been an ambassador. Instead she dedicated her life to the Law of the Sea. Those who worked in this arena with Catie considered her the most knowledgeable person on the subject, and they came from across the globe. Catie was the ultimate team member – flexible, non-assuming, curious, and brilliant in her analysis. She was up to any task – so long as you waited for her to have her Starbucks.
Catie would always stay over when she came to work at my office. The first thing she would do when we arrived at the house was to open her pack and pull out two bottles of wine. Then she would ask what was for dinner and pick the wine we would have that night. She always seemed to know the right wines to select from her stash when she packed, because the wines she chose always went well with what was planned for dinner. Thanks to her visits, my husband and I learned what good wine tastes like. She completely spoiled us for anything less.
Catie lived life her way, yet I could trust her with anything. She researched complex topics. She analyzed reams of interview data. She wrote anything from policies to position descriptions and everything in between. When she collaborated in discussions, the outcome was always just a bit – and sometimes quite a bit – better. It was a great working relationship.
I told her that I appreciated her, but I never did it with the intensity it deserved. I actually did appreciate Catie intensely, and I miss her – intensely.
If you have a colleague who is also a friend, tell them of your appreciation.