Thursday, March 31, 2011

Current Address: Funeral Home

I am quite troubled that it is easier to find an obituary of a long lost friend than it is to find a current address. 

Here's what happened.  Some old high school chums and I have reconnected on Facebook.  It's been a blast, and we're all about the same except for the wrinkles and a few extra pounds.  One chum, Vicky, kept asking where Becky was, and did anyone know what happened to her.  Search after search revealed nothing.

Then, just recently Vicky Googled/White-Paged/you-name-it Becky's name again and found her obituary.  I mean, WTF, right?  We tried and tried to get a hold of her while she was alive, then whamo! she dies and suddenly we can find her quite easily.  

The worst part of the whole horrific experience for me was that while reading her obit I found out that her brother, my friend, had preceded her in death.  Talk about a sucker punch!

Let's just say Tuesday night was not the best night of my week/month/year.

You think you're gonna have fun on fb, you think you're gonna meet up with old chums, you think you're gonna connect.  But, you aren't prepared for the other side of the coin.  You don't think about death with fb.  You don't worry about finding an obit.  And, I blame memory.

Memories of our friends remain static.  They remain today as they were then.  They were our chums, young and fresh, and we laughed and cried and went through puberty together.  We told secrets and knew that our friendships would never die.  We thought we would grow up and live next door to each other, and our children would play together and we'd have BBQ's in the backyard and it would be a freakin' 60's sitcom.  

But, life is different than a teenager can imagine it.  Teenagers lack the experience and realities of life to project what future will appear for them.  That's why Teenagers have such trouble.  They look like adults.  They act like adults.  They think they ARE adults.  But, they aren't.  Not even close.  They are still children, and they have unrealistic expectations of what life will provide.

In some ways, connecting with my high school chums has led me to think like a teenager while interacting on fb.  I've been cavalier.  I've been profound.  I've been angry.  I've had unrealistic expectations of others and our friendships.  And, I've thought that everyone just continued as they were in high school, as they were as children.

But that isn't true.  We all grow up.  We become adults.  We have lives and our lives take twists and turns, and we find joy and heartbreak in unexpected places.  And, we love life, and it's totally different than the life we imagined when we were young and fit into the smaller sizes.  But it's our life, and we make the best of it, wherever we are in this world. 

But then, some of us die.


1 comment:

Jack Corgi said...

Profound words yours....
I too had lost contact with someone - dear friend of mine and my brothers, searched for listings etc...dawned on me shortly after I joined fb to look for him on there one evening....found him, saw pics of him and his beautiful family, went to send a message but first read a posting made on his wall that took my breath away. He'd died the day before. And when I offered condolences to his family - his widow wanted to comfort ME?! If only I'd thought to look sooner, if only I'd....great words in hindsight. You couldn't have been more right on with our preconceived ideas of adult life - and how very different the reality is. Hopefully, we grieve, heal some, and try to learn....holding those dear a little closer, and making sure we say our heart's thoughts to those who need to hear them.
Kathleen T. Fontaine