So I got word yesterday that a dear childhood friend of mine took her life on Monday. We hadn't had much contact since we'd both left our parents' homes, maybe two emails in 20 years. This happens, it is normal, to be expected and still it's not acceptable.
Another friend, from this same era in our common lives sent me her obituary. Reading it, and not knowing because of our lack of contact, I can only glean that at 43 years old she was still the same remarkable person I knew when she was 10, 11, and 15, 18 and 22. It's all very sad, painful, and, yes, a waste.
This morning, before I got the obituary, I went on facebook to see if anyone, any of the facebook "friends" I have from that time in life, had any information. A couple of things became really clear...
1. I have very little contact, even in this age of gluttonous communication, connection with people who meant very much to me at very crucial times in my life. and
2. In this age of gluttonous communication, in this time in history where we can tell each other whatever "is on your mind" at any second of the day and send it to with everyone with a computer (with photos) what we actually share with each other is totally banal.
I won't make it to the memorial for my friend on Sunday to hug her parents or to meet her children. I won't be there to tell them all how important and incredible their loved one was to me, too.
In memory of my friend, with whom I shared innumerable life experiences many of which influence my life still and with whom I regrettably lost contact, I will instead write 10 letters. Real letters, not typed, written in my own script, written with my real voice and written about my real life experiences to people important to me.
This is not enough to honor the end of what should have been a long and beautiful life, but I think she would appreciate my action. Alicia was a woman, and a girl, of action....she would like letters. Letters are a gift to receive, filled with drama and, if you're paying attention, immensely real and filled with potential action.
Please, join me in reconnecting...really reconnecting with people who are and have been important to you.