I mentioned the other day that my little college reunion buddies and I were missing one person, a woman who seemed to have disappeared. Then, we found her, but even though she routinely posted articles and videos to Facebook, she never seemed to actually visit the site. This confused me, although eventually I got around to admiring her for it. The less Facebook, the probably the better.
But with all of this hubbub around finding our long-lost friend and making connections, the subject came up. It’s come up before, in several similar Facebook situations. You connect with an old friend, catch up, and then, “So, whatever happened to…” or “Do you remember…” and that’s where social media has some issues.
Because, unfortunately, people die. And it’s always heartbreaking to have to tell someone, until that moment happily unaware. As I had to, yesterday, to this woman. You know how it is. Sometimes Facebook pages live on forever. Former friends wish ghosts happy birthdays, etc. It’s a hard thing.
Not unexpected, but still sad. The numbers eventually will always turn sad.
I’ve been fortunate, maybe. My first close friend who died has been gone nearly 20 years; that knocked me on my heels, sent me into a spasm of weeping that scared everyone. A childhood friend, a reliable, good friend. Just dropped dead, massive heart attack, all alone at the time. Way too young, but sometimes heart disease doesn’t use a calendar.
Otherwise, it’s been mostly family members. My grandparents are long gone, the last in 1990. An uncle, who was always kind of problematic in terms of getting along with (he was a little prickly), passed away a couple of years ago and I still miss him, oddly. I miss his random phone calls and our random conversations, and how fun they were. He was trying to keep an eye on his brother’s kids. He was a good guy.
But I know where I am, really, and it’s become clear. I’m 60 years old. My teachers are all dead.
Most of them, I suppose. The ones I really loved are. The last one passed on in July, and he was pretty young when I was his student. There are a couple of college professors still around, but we weren’t that close.
I’m at the stage where some of the most influential adults in my life are now gone. It’s natural, and makes sense, and I’m not all that sad about it, although wouldn’t it be great to see some of them once again, just to talk?
I don’t know if this will influence me going forward, but it should. I’m not a person for regrets; that’s an emotion that has been trained out of me for very good reasons, as it can be destructive for certain people. You never move on, some of us. But maybe it’s time to reevaluate the special people in my life, and make an effort. I don’t think it’s all about me, or if it is I need to do this for me, then.
Not to say goodbye. Just to say thanks.