After hearing of my friend's death this week, I wasn't quite sure of the timing of letting my social media world know what was going on. Well, sort of true. Half of it was wanting to hold on to it privately for just a little while, and the other half was waiting for someone else to break the news.
I thumbed up and commented on someone else's facebook declaration. And, quietly posted a photo of us in younger days.
The next day, a young woman I've known since she was a child (and who recently married!) sent me a message saying she'd seen my comment on the other page and had figured out that I was experiencing the heartbreak of the loss of a loved one. She was indescribably sweet. And, she offered to comment on the photo on my page so that people would see that my friend had died . . . that way the word would be out there without me having to actually announce it. GENIUS. And absolutely the help and support I needed.
Over the last couple days, I've exchanged several heartfelt emails with a woman who use to do my job in another community and who I run into at professional meetings from time to time. Her emails have come as something of a surprise. We've always respected and enjoyed each other at meetings, but we have never really had a social relationship.
Since my instinct is to curl up into a ball, cry, and suck my fingers when I'm sad, the honest and genuine ways humans have reached out to me has been really helpful.
Unlike when the Old Woman died, and I pretty much isolated myself, this ephemeral connection from surprising sources has been lovely. And, a wonderful way to remind myself that I am loved and cared for by my little world. I wish my friend had internalized those connections in his life. They were there. But, too many people can't or won't let them in to their souls.