I have started and stopped writing this blog for a couple of months because I’ve had a hard time wrapping my mind around such a tragic loss. Four months ago, on November 5th, 2020, one of my dear friends and co-worker, Liane Neshat, passed away suddenly. We worked together for almost three years, and Liane made Crawley Law Firm better. When we were looking for help, I asked some friends if they knew anyone reliable and hard-working looking for a job. Our mutual friend Jennifer said she had the perfect candidate. I remember calling Liane, and we had an informal phone interview that lasted for a couple of hours.
Hired Liane Immediately
We clicked immediately. Liane was so easy to talk to, mature, highly intelligent, kind, and funny. In a word, she was WONDERFUL! She started work the next day, on February 14th, 2017. Bankruptcy paralegal work requires hands-on training and is not something you can learn outside of the office. I mean, you can learn how to use our bankruptcy software, but beyond that, the requirements of the job are learned as you go.
Liane was an organized and efficient fast learner with experience in human resources. She was in her late 50s and didn’t skip a beat. Over a few months, we taught her the basics and then asked her to please help us find a “better way” to make the office more efficient. So, she dug in and did just that; she created different organizational systems to streamline our processes and procedures.
For example, we improved the workflow from when a client hires us through the document collection process. She was talented at staying in contact with clients until we had all the necessary documents to file the case. If Liane thought a revised document would benefit our clients or us, she would change it. She did this without prompting, then showed it to me with a big grin on her face.
Liane Neshat worked harder than anyone I know, and she found joy and took pride in a job well done. She came in on the weekends to get the paperwork ready for the week. Usually coming in early and working late. She did leave mid-afternoon to get her daughter from school, but that was considered her lunch break. There are few people these days who have the same work ethic as Liane did. I feel like God hand-picked her for us. I’ll never understand why he took her away so soon, but I am grateful for the time we had together.
I told her the day before she passed away that Biden may pull out the election, and she said she hadn’t looked because she was so nervous. It shocked her it was such a close race. She was passionate about her politics, her family, and her work ethic. Liane loved all people and was extremely supportive of her friends. Being a cheerleader came naturally to her, and she blessed more people than she ever realized. Her encouraging words will live forever in my mind. She was always supportive and loving.
Liane Passed Away Suddenly
Oh, how I pray she knew how much we cared for her. She wasn’t perfect, no one is, but she set an excellent example for us all, and she had the kindest soul. Losing her was one of the hardest things I have endured in my adult life. Liane was the closest friend I’ve had who passed away suddenly. I spent a lot of time with her; not only were we co-workers, but we were also friends outside of work. We texted and talked most days.
She was supportive of my Juice Plus business and told her friends about it. Liane Neshat often bought our Complete Protein Shake mix because it was Vegan and she was a vegetarian. My oldest and her youngest graduated from high school together in 2020. So we would chat about the girls and upcoming school events. Thank goodness she often reminded me of important dates because she knew I had a lot going on with my three teenage daughters and toddler son. Liane delivered her youngest at 43 years old, and I was 40 years old when I delivered Trey, so we had that in common as well. I would mention being an “older mom,” and she would clear her throat and say, “excuse me.” Then we both laughed.
At 9:04 pm that Thursday night, my reality changed. Our mutual friend, Jennifer, called and left a message asking me to call her as soon as possible. From her tone, I knew something was wrong, but I did not know what. I called her back, and she answered immediately.
“I have some bad news,” she said in a somber tone.
Then continued, “Liane passed away.”
I said, “Wait. What? That’s not possible; we worked together all day, and she appeared perfectly fine. She wasn’t sluggish or lethargic. Liane didn’t complain about feeling bad. She seemed completely normal, and now you are telling me she’s gone?”
It has been months, and I am slowly coming out of the shocked and angry phases and into acceptance. I think about Liane Neshat daily. We will never know exactly what happened, but we know she was sitting on her couch when she passed away peacefully and without suffering. Sadly, she was not tested for Covid-19, so we don’t know if it played a role, but the coroner said it appeared to be a sudden and massive heart attack
Confident Loving Mother
Liane was knowledgeable and knew a little about many different things. She spoke her mind but knew when to keep quiet. She had strong values and beliefs and wasn’t afraid to share her opinion or what she thought. Liane was kind, professional, compassionate, and open-minded. She was witty and hilarious! We laughed together often.
After her husband passed away suddenly about 16 years ago, she raised their three children by herself. Liane’s youngest daughter, Ariana, was only a few years old when he died, and she is 19 years old now. Her oldest daughter, Ahzadeh, and her middle child, Armen, were in high school when their father died. They currently reside in California.
She was a loving mother and a loyal friend. When you met her, she made you feel special and seen. I loved her eye contact and how it made me feel heard when I talked, and she listened intently. Liane volunteered at The Foundation of Arts regularly and attended many plays at Jonesboro High School and The Orpheum in Memphis. Liane loved to read lots and lots of books in different genres, and she even edited some for up-and-coming authors. She offered to be one of my beta readers after completing my first fiction novel’s rough draft.
Liane was thoughtful and would leave small “happy” presents on our desks on special occasions to let us know she cared. It would be a simple sweet treat or a card that made your day. She was a good listener and never complained. While visiting a college out of state with Ariana, Liane fell down a few stairs, and I’m pretty sure she broke her foot. She was too stubborn to get it x-rayed and said they would just put her in a boot. So, she skipped the doctor’s visit and ordered the boot online. Typical behavior for Liane; she didn’t need help.
She was incredibly proud of her children. Ariana was the light of her life. The day before she passed, she told me how well she is doing in virtual college at Rhodes in Memphis. When Liane spoke of her three children, she lit up with love, adoration, and pride. Liane loved and adored them; being their mom and grandmother was her favorite, and she was good at it. She was proficient at anything she set her mind to. There was not much she wasn’t good at or couldn’t figure out how to do.
Picking Up Where She Left Off
Since she was not here to train me, I have spent the last four months learning how to do Liane’s job. I’m working twice as many hours in the office as I did before she passed. She did much more than any of us realized. She saw a need and took the initiative. I’ve also hired 2 part-time employees to assist in covering all the bases. She was a phenomenal friend, co-worker, and human.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to get to know her over the last few years. I loved her big and contagious laugh. It was always fun to make her laugh, and I’m thankful for being able to do so the day she died. I still look for her smiling face when I walk into the office’s front door. She always had a friendly demeanor and was pleasant to be around. I miss her wit.
Liane Neshat became one of my dear friends, and I still can’t believe she is gone. I miss her every day. I know she wouldn’t want me to be sad and that she is in a better place. Her heart was pure, and she was full of love and life, but it was her time, and I must accept that truth. It was an unexpected, shocking and unfortunate tragedy to lose Liane. Fly high, sweet friend. We love you and miss you dearly.