The thing about Facebook is that it keeps you in contact with people who otherwise may long have been forgotten. My parents and grandparents had to work a lot harder to keep in touch with their school friends – for us, it’s the click of a button. My parents may only have heard of the passing of a classmate at their high school reunion. I discovered it on Facebook.
What do you do when people your age die? We’re not immortal, but it seems so strange. We’re wired to yearn for a longer life. More years. More adventures. A week ago a Semester at Sea Fall 2012 student passed away. She was my age. And two nights ago a young man who was in my class when we were twelve and thirteen died. I still don’t know how, but that wouldn’t really change anything.
We hadn’t spoken in many years, that’s just the way things turned out. But how does one respond to the death of the boy you dated ten years ago? Our very short tween relationship’s song was Westlife’s Bop Bop Baby. My then-best friend and I had a big fight about him. Then I dated his best friend. We fought. There was the incident where he burnt my letters publicly. And then we remained friends for a short while, until for high school I took a different path. Years later I unfriended him on Facebook because of a racist comment.
When somebody dies, we are supposed to remember only the good. Understandably. One day I hope that people will remember my good attributes. But it feels more real this way, remembering it all.
We are growing older. We loose classmates. Sometimes naturally, but at this point, mostly unnatural deaths. I’m just really not sure what my emotions are supposed to be now.