For members of the SQL community in Orlando and Chicago you’ve probably heard that Brook Ranne died on March 29, 2014. Brook was part of our group here in Orlando, someone growing into SQL Server and always ready to volunteer, especially at SQLSaturday Orlando and Tampa where she was almost always managing the check-ins. She moved to Chicago and started participating there too. I was surprised when I got a call from PASS about it and we started working to make sure everyone local knew (and kudos to PASS for making that effort).
Once you have the news, then what? I knew Brook at the meetings, but I didn’t know her family, and beyond the shock of losing someone from the group, what do you do? I think Pam Shaw created this simple memorial site and I think there was a meet up in Chicago for people to spend time with her husband. Maybe PASS sent flowers or a donation. It feels like… not enough. My condolences to her family – I wish there was more.
I hesitate to write the rest because it’s not about Brook, but it feels like the place to think on it.
Just over a year ago I wrote We Need A Place for SQLFamily News because of the death of the spouse of a long time oPASS member. We need that. As the years go surely many of us will move on from SQL Server to management and other pursuits, but I suspect many will stay with SQL until they retire, or sadly, die. Even if I move away from SQL at some point there are people that are community friends – people I’ve talked to, had dinner with, but that I don’t regularly correspond with, and it would be nice to know when things like that happen. As far as I know PASS doesn’t budget for sending flowers or anything along those lines, nor do we at oPASS or MagicPASS. I’d like to see that change (though I know it usually gets done, budget or no).