I’m not sure if hearing grave news in roundabout fashion was among the exact intentions of Facebook and other social media upon their conception, but when faced with it, there is no denying the gravity in such media’s capability. It has me pretty freaked out.
I learned this weekend that a friend who I was at one time in life quite close to has suffered a major heart attack and is now fighting for her life in the intensive care unit of the UMD hospital. If it weren’t for social media, I would not know this. We lost touch. A few years ago we caught up and went to a ballgame, but even that was, like I said, a few years ago, and since then there’s been no contact. I will carry that, feel the full weight and pressure of the guilt for that, because that’s how I’m built. Though I’m old enough and wise enough to understand that sometimes people just grow apart.
And so there you are, thanks to an app on your damn phone, suddenly aware of the life or death plight of someone once close, and there’s really not a god damned thing you can do about it. Even if I tried to stop in and visit, the family (we have been told) does not want visitors, and besides none of them would even know who the hell I am. It would be weird. Jesus, what the fuck are you supposed to do? Leave encouraging comments on her FB page? The cynic in me finds that strange and nonsensical. Why make yourself part of the spectacle now, when you hadn’t even been around to say hello for several years?
I just don’t know.
Life has been sort of blowing me away with its whole “going by” thing these days anyway. So many friends, acquaintances, and coworkers now married and having babies, and me feeling unchanged and remembering the yesterday as if it were indeed just yesterday. I suppose there is a very fixed part of my nature, although my perspective certainly has changed.
And unto that, a bit of life and death to the mix. And it’s not even just the scenario above. I’ve at least one family member and one other close friend dealing with very serious life and death situations, although thankfully those seem to be hanging in there for the moment. And at least I didn’t have to learn about them through a fucking app.
There’s been some more going on over the past several months. I’ll see if I can write about it. I’ve been doing some stress management work, and while I continue to get my own life in order, it seems that Life in general has other plans. There have been some good things, it’s just the enjoying of the good things that’s been complicated. Perhaps I can salvage some of that here.