I’ve been away from the computer for too long. My Facebook status is weeks out of date, there are 50 billion emails in my hotmail account and Twitter no longer recognizes my tweet.
It’s been a full weekend away from the keyboard, from surfing the web and checking everyone’s updates. It’s been so long that I didn’t realize an old friend of mine was no longer. He was a year younger than me.
We’d been out of the loop for a while. He was my friend’s ex-husband’s brother and we had bonded over wedding preparations, me in a phlegm green dress with lace and roses and him in a rented gorilla suit in an equally appetizing “mint green” bowtie. We both looked dyno-mite, as defined by J.J. Walker.
A divorce later and there was little contact, as happens in many divorce situations, including mine. I hadn’t meant to pick sides but without that common bond, our friendship went on hiatus. I always thought of him with warm memories and a knowing he would always call me friend.
I logged onto Facebook this morning to catch up on the news, the gossip, the goings-on. My heart cried when I read the words: My brother is dead.
Which brother? He has two others. No, it was Gary - Gary of the great massages, Gary of the infectious laugh, Gary who will be missed even though I didn’t have direct contact with him. I wish I had kept it up, despite the drama and the labeling of his and hers. I wish I could have said goodbye.
I wondered earlier why I was so affected. After all, I hadn’t seen or talked to him in many years. But, I knew he was always there, living his life and smiling. It’s not the case now.
The fact it was such a shock played a factor too. There were no reasons. It was sudden. As far as I know, he wasn’t sick. He was here on Thursday and on Friday he wasn’t. I cried for his family’s loss, for the memories we made when we were in contact and I mourned the fact that they will never happen again. There will be no reconnection over an impromptu dinner party or a night of direct-to-video movies and a foot massage.
My only opportunity now to honour his memory and let people know of the impact he had and continues to have is at the visitation and funeral. It's a sad occasion, but what's even sadder is that I didn't get to tell him how much he meant before this. Damn tears. Damn death. Damn loss. Just damn it.