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I miss the old days. Before computers and messages and Facebook. When people called each other on the telephone, you know the ones that hung from the wall in putrid yellow and green with curly, tangled cords. They conveyed news, good and bad. You were able to preface things with either hesitation if it was bad news or words that conveyed your discomfort. Good news was easy, people could tell by the lilt of your excited voice. It doesn’t happen that way anymore. I found out about a friend’s death on Facebook. FACEBOOK. It’s true, and it says a lot about society at least to old-fashioned me.
I’m not saying we were best friends and that we had lunch together every week but in the old days when I grew up there was a phone chain. At least you could get a phone call from someone who knew someone and there was that one moment of preparation when an unfamiliar voice would ask to speak to you somewhat hesitantly……You got the needling sensation in your stomach that something was just not right and even though you can never really be prepared, at least you had a gut feeling.
I got the message, as others did, in black and white print, in the form of a lovely, well-written memorial (Thank you, Roland in no way is this a criticism of YOU.) Couldn’t someone have sent a mailing at least to soften the blow? I guess not, that’s not the way society works these day. I should catch up with the future, I’m just not sure if I can.
I’m still in shock. Truly, I can’t grasp that my friend is dead, maybe because I only had a hint that she was sick. I knew she was in pain once when I saw her but I didn’t know from what; everyone has a bad day now and then. Although I sensed something was wrong when she snapped at me once; that was so not like her at all. It was pure intuition that made me feel something was off, nothing else.
Reading her eulogy in print has not given me time to acclimate to the news. Her own Facebook page is still up, with her own heavenly smile lighting up her page. I’m not sure how to deal with this, there is nothing I can do except get used to the idea she is gone. Having no information makes it worse.
I’ve said good-bye to Helen in my heart and I know that’s all I can do. But finding out about someone’s death on Facebook? That’s got to be a new low. At least for me.