Good-bye to Another Friend

Got word today via Facebook (again! Damn you with your double edged sword of keeping me in touch with people/always being the “first” to break bad news.)  I suppose I should just be glad I found out at all, living as far away from most of my high school friends as I do.    We lost another person from our graduating class.  It feels like our class has lost quite a few people these past few years.  We’re only 32-34 years old.  We’ve lost friends to epilepsy, cancer, suicide, even murder.

My friend Scott passed this weekend.  He was one of my homeroom buddies back in high school, and unlike a lot of Facebook “acquaintances,” we actually did still interact with one another on Facebook.  Oddly, in some ways I learned more about him from Facebook than our time back in high school– like, for instance, what a sensitive soul he actually was.  This is so weird because…and I know it sounds so obvious it’s stupid, but…  he was just here not too long ago.  Now he’s not.

It seems most of us (that is, the people in our class, our “mutual friends” on Facebook,) don’t know cause of death; it’s being kept quiet right now…which for me tends to rule out accident, illness, etc.  And I guess it doesn’t really matter how he died.  He is just as gone.  And yet, knowing seems to be a piece in coming to terms with the loss…and in some cases, satisfying a sort of morbid curiosity many of us feel towards the death of someone we know who is not necessarily in our immediate circle of friends.  Along the same vein, I can’t help but be annoyed by the requisite number of busybodies and drama mongers (online), attempting to put themselves in the middle of everything, trying to make the loss somehow more about them.  (You disgust me, but this isn’t the time for me to call you out on it.)

Because of the internet and social networking, we are now highly in tune with the everyday goings-on of people we might not get to otherwise interact with regularly.  We get our news fast (sometimes too fast, and in a less than sensitive manner.)  It makes me wonder, are all these losses just a normal part of “growing up,” aging?  Are the amount of deaths in our age group just the relatively normal “fall off” of people, and we are only so aware of it because of the internet?

It’s also weird to think about it…like I said, he was here, now he’s not.  Chances are, he didn’t know he wouldn’t be here today.  Did he know how many people would miss him?  Tag his name in Facebook statuses and say nice things about him…

 

And (quietly) *to myself*…

One day will I be just a tagged name on Facebook? 

 

In Memory Of Scott (1981-2014)

 

Related:

Rest In Peace, Jer and Ricky

Things Not to Say/Rest in Peace, Greg

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Happy (belated) Birthday, “Ex” Friend

Dear longtime friend,

Since you “divorced” me a few months back, I’ll have to admit, I sort of forgot about the whole issue.  At least on a daily basis.  You see, since we live so far apart now, and social media was really our only contact, you erased yourself from my life, and me from yours, quite effectively with that “block” button on Facebook…although I still can’t exactly figure out why you felt that was necessary, as if “de-friending” me was not enough…like you thought I would just continue to send you messages even though we clearly had nothing else to talk about.

I went about my life, and , like I said, after the shock and upset over our initial argument wore off, I sort of forgot about it all.  Except for when one of our mutual friends would mention you in conversation, or in a Facebook comment I couldn’t see because, after 20 years of friendship, you decided my existence pissed you off so much, you didn’t want to see my name…or whatever.  Then I would get kinda mad.

But eventually I’d forget about it…

Until I went through all my old greeting cards, some from as far back as middle school, and found the ones from you.  On more than one, you proclaimed how we would be friends forever and you’d always be here for me.  It made me a bit sad, but it also made me mad.  I didn’t know if I should keep the cards or get rid of them.  After all, if you could throw me out like an old card, why should I keep these mementos of our friendship?  But I decided to…just in case.  

And then I forgot about it.  After all, I am a mom, a wife.  I am (once again) a student, a writer, an artist, and a volunteer.  I’m a daughter and a friend… SO I had a lot to occupy my mind… and I forgot about it again.

Except for whenever feminism came up in conversation.  It seems a stupid thing to lose a friend over.  It’s not an elitist club.  It’s not about being obligated to feel or act a certain way, but rather having the option to decide for oneself…  And that’s what I would tell whoever I happened to be in discussion with.  But then I would forget about it again.

And every once in a while, something random would make me think of you.  How you were at my wedding.  How you are one of few of my friends from my homestate who have gotten to meet my daughter, who was not born until after we left the state.  It’s always with a mixture of sadness and anger that I think of you.  It makes me sad that you feel you no longer want to share in my life, especially my life’s greatest joy, getting to know my daughter.  She is super-cool!

It makes me sad that I used to describe you as the nicest, most open-minded person I knew, and you took those words and bit me in the ass with them.  I understand activism is important to you, but you seem more angry now then empowered.

Today* was your birthday.   I thought about asking a mutual friend to wish you a happy birthday…then I started questioning myself.  Did I really care?  Did I want you to know I was thinking of you, or was I just being passive aggressive, letting you know that despite your snub, I was still around?  I don’t even really know why I am writing this now.  You likely have “unfollowed” my blog as well and will never see this message.  And I guess that’s fine.  Maybe it’s better even, since it would probably just piss you off.

But, Happy Birthday anyway.  And Happy Holidays too, for good measure.  In a day or so, I will forget about this again for a while.  But I will be here, as ever.

Love me.

(edited cuz I thought today was yesterday*)