Gilchrist: Hardest part is saying goodbye

The waterworks hovered near during the hours that made up our final days during this
surreal week.

The unexpected announcement Monday came as a blow. Though many of us expected change to our six-day a week publication at some point, we figured it would be gradual;
perhaps cutting the Monday edition, for example, or paring us back to two or three days a week.

But for the hammer to crush publication entirely wasn't something we prepared for.

The emotions have crossed an understandable range - shock, disbelief, anger, sadness and fear, along with speculation about why this happened and what, if anything, could have been done differently.

In a workplace of 55 people, it is impossible to know about everyone's lives but I heard some of their stories.

One person, who left the big city to carve out a rural existence near Kamloops, is the sole wage earner for he, his wife and their four children. Another was eight months away from turning 55, the point he figured would provide a comfortable enough pension to survive.

One couple with two school-aged children are now both out of work. Someone whose spouse just underwent an organ transplant and relies on him to provide for them is jobless. Someone whose marriage recently ended is now wondering how he will pay the mortgage on the large house he has been unable to sell.

I uprooted our comfortable life in the Kootenays with a house that was nearly paid off to move here for the city editor position. Now I will be competing with my former peers for any applicable local jobs.

Our stories are, no doubt, similar to those of others who lost their jobs in recent years - the common thread is none of us knows what the future holds, whether we will have to move to obtain work or take jobs outside our chosen field.

But beyond what this change will mean to each of us personally, will be the greater impact on the community. Those who told your stories with such passion, insight and care will be gone from your lives.

Smaller papers can do a good job; I know, I've worked at many. But they won't have the staff with the level of expertise and community knowledge that The Daily News had, nor will they have enough reporters to allow the necessary time to provide the in-depth coverage some stories deserve.

And this gap will leave the community a more hollow place.

Since becoming editor a few short months ago, it felt like there was a new spirit of
collaboration evolving in the newsroom and I mourn for what might have been, for all the stories that won't be told. The Daily News is leaving me when I had only begun to
know her.

I give credit to the staff here for soldiering through this difficult final week; we agreed we weren't doing it for Glacier, we were doing it for ourselves and our loyal readers because you continued to deserve the best we could give.

We appreciate your loyalty and want you to know it has been a privilege to be a part of your lives.

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