Here are the emails we got from Robert on Monday morning, in response to his video and party...
To the video production team:
"I want to make sure that I thanked you for the absolutely wonderful DVD. I am totally overwhelmed by it. In the last week after 'Black Thursday,' my emotions had subsided from huge waves of intense grief and disbelief to choppy waves of tenderness and sadness. The video you produced definitely added some new waves to my pond, but these waves felt warm and loving. I don't think I have the language skills--even after 24 years of practice--of expressing my gratitude for such a kind and thoughtful gift. I truly loved the DVD and recognized the talent and care that went into its creation. I know that I am starting to sound like a broken record, but it is not the job I will miss, but rather the wonderful people I had the great privilege to work with. I will sorely miss spending my working life as one of your colleagues."
And to me personally:
"I want to make sure you know how much I appreciate all that you have done for me in preparing for my exit party. It was very clear that you were the driving force behind the DVD; and I really feel lucky to have had someone as talented as you take the time to do something so special for me. Your creativity and wonderful sense of humor really showed up nicely in the video. It had just the right amount of humor to stave off the potential for sadness.
Also, I hadn't realized before how comfortable you are with a microphone. [My work BFF Dave and I ended up being de facto emcees; people are telling us we should now put together a comedy act.] It really did my heart good to see you being so playful. It has been a long time since I have seen this wonderful aspect of your personality. Remember to take the playful you to work as often as you can. I wish you the best and hope that our paths pass often."
God, how I already miss him.