The Case for Telling People How You Feel About Them

Before it’s too late

Melissa Rock
The DIY Diaries
Published in
3 min readMay 18, 2024


Product of our co-worker appreciation activity. Photo by Author.

The ability to harness a great first impression is a true skill.

I was impressed with a coworker I encountered in a Zoom break-out room. I’ll refer to her as Maria.

Maria’s disposition was bright, radiating sunshine-y energy.

A few months later Maria had either quit or been let go. I was surprised to hear rumors of her not meeting the institution’s expectations. I thought Maria was awesome.

A few weeks later Maria visited the pottery shop where I work on the weekends. She had nothing good to say about my full-time employer, her now former employer.

I remember being a bit embarrassed by her language around customers. I felt responsible for people’s perception of the pottery shop. However, my feelings regarding Maria remained — I gathered positivity, a charge of some sort, energy from her presence.

Fast forward a few more months, and our team learned that Maria had taken her life.

My first thought was: I didn’t tell her about her sunshine.

Today is our end-of-the-semester work party, the finality of the academic year. Our former coworker, Maria, inspired our team activity.