A big side effect of my grief has been compulsively wanting to reach out to people of my past that I’ve lost touch with. After all, there’s no better way to realize the frailty of life than staring at your 37 year old dead husband. It’s kind of like watching The Dead Poets Society on repeat for 100 years and condensing all of that into a 5 minute span.
Carpe diem, folks. Carpe diem.
Of course, a normal person might take this knowledge and go about there life slightly differently. Take more time to nurture your friendships, and call your family more often. That would be socially appropriate, but I am not a normal person right now.
Instead I choose to maniacally reach out to people through any platform possible… often social media. Below is a (fairly realistic) dramatic reenactment of a Facebook message I sent someone.
Hi! I know we haven’t spoken in like ten years, but how are you? I am not so great. DID YOU KNOW PEOPLE DIE?!? That’s terrible. I was thinking about you the other day (and how you are not dead) and wanted to reach out. Remember that time at the bar when you said the thing? That was great. I hope you are doing well and are VERY ALIVE. We should probably chat and be best friends because life is SHORT! Do you know how short it is? SO VERY, VERY SHORT. Call me!
Bless this person, who did not judge my crazy and actually responded to me. He’s one of the good ones.
One of the people in “Team Keep Lauren Out of the Deep End” has self-appointed herself not only to try and keep me from losing all of my marbles, but now also to stop me from scaring people. I run messages by her first, and she calmly tells me that perhaps I should remove the bit about “We’re all doomed to die so we should make the best of it while we can” when re-connecting with someone from my past. This is one of the many reasons I love her.
While I have rebooted some friendships that I am happy to have back in my life, a lot of my efforts have gone unappreciated. Some never responded to me at all (perhaps the crazy ran a bit too strongly) while others will respond, but talk about nothing but themselves. I believe those who know me and have been with me through this grieving process will agree that I am capable of talking about plenty of things besides my dead husband. Really, I try to keep this from being “The Lauren Show” (except my blog because duh, you’re here to read what I have to say versus tell me about your frustrating meeting at work).
So it’s a little hard for me to talk to someone who used to be a deep and cherished friend, only to have them not ask about how I’m doing. One person even forgot that Tim died, and curiously quizzed me why I was moving to an apartment versus staying in my house.
This tragedy has brought to light a lot about myself and the relationships in my life. While many of these discoveries are good, I’ve also seen the true core of a lot of people.
Life is short, and people are important. Friendships and love and love of friends are a huge part of what keep us alive. In between sending crazy Facebook messages, I’m going to have to learn how to let some people go because even though it’s important to hold close the people in your life that you cherish… it’s equally important to drop the ones that bring you down.
In the events that have shaken out months past Tim’s death, I’ve mourned the loss of those relationships almost as much as my husband.
But time moves forward, and the good people are still there. They’re there to tell me that I’m not quite as crazy as I think, and they’re there to keep me from terrifying my high school English teacher as I draft a heartfelt letter thanking him for showing me The Dead Poets Society all those years ago.