The ghosts of Facebook

A few nights ago, I noticed a picture of a friend I knew while living in Boston in my facebook friends list and clicked to see what she was up to. The harsh realization I was confronted with was her death. Not recently, several years ago. She lost a battle with breast cancer that I was not even aware she was fighting. I spent a lot of time with this woman. Actions related to our friendship made definite changes to the path of my life for which I am so thankful. I wanted to cry out to the world somehow. To share my grief at her passing. But after so many years had passed and I was only discovering her death, it felt inappropriate to say anything publicly. So I sat down and wrote the following on my facebook page…

So many people pass through our lives. We may be so intimate with a person for a brief time, but then we move away, or they move away, circles change, interests change, lives change and evolve but we never forget them, A piece of them lives in us, and (we imagine) a piece of us in them. The laughter shared, the work, the struggle, the joys, the fears…the human experience is measured by our ability to share it with others. We imagine that person is somewhere out there…just like us. Being warmed by the same sun and inspired by the same infinite canvas of stars. So how crushing is the reality when we discover that person has died. Has left this realm far before their time. The years that have passed are suddenly inconsequential and we see their face before us in perfect detail, remembering fully the experiences shared and moments of life celebrated together.

The most heart-wrenching aspect of aging is that we experience more and more of these painful revelations every year. We must try to learn to accept them and integrate these complex emotions into the tapestry of our own lives. But the joy of aging lies in the indulgence in the vibrant and glittering memories we have of these lost friends. The act of keeping their spirit alive through our love and celebration of their unique spirit. I have lived much of my life in fear of the devastating loss of the ones I love, and therefore have chosen my intimate friends and loved ones very sparingly. But I’m feeling the dawn of a time where I am able to embrace the hearts of more friends more fully. I hope so. The truth in life lies in the moments of human connection. Let us all be brave enough to seek more love in our lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: