Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Passing of a Facebook Friend

We were Facebook friends, but I didn't know her well. She was an undergraduate student working in the campus recreation center where I was doing my Graduate Assistantship. We were probably at the same parties and we ran in to each other enough at work that we became friends online, but I'm not sure I could tell you anything about her life.

I don't know what she majored in or even where she was from. I don't even know what she did for a career. Every now and again she's show up in my news feed and I'd think, "oh yeah, her" before scrolling on to see what the next person posted so I could go "oh yeah, him," like we all do when we're reading Facebook.

But yesterday morning, I found out this woman who I barely knew and who probably wouldn't recognize me if I walked past her died suddenly.

Now, as happens in our digital age, my news feed was full of remembrances of this caring, sweet, beautiful woman. Real friends (not the Facebook kind like me) expressed their grief, sympathy, shock, prayers and every other emotion that accompanies the loss of a life so young.

All day, as more and more people learned of this young woman's passing, pictures of some party or work event or just dinner were posted. Friends shared memories of the good times while at the same time still trying to process the overwhelming grief they were feeling.
They're left to grapple with trying to understand something that has no answer. Why a woman so young and so loved would suddenly be gone. Each of her friends and family will come to their own answers that ultimately may be unsatisfying, but hopefully will bring each some measure of comfort as they try to remember her.

Ultimately, however, we all have to deal with both the best and worst part of life - it goes on. In times of grief and sorrow when we don't feel like we can face it anymore, life goes on. In times of joy and peace and calming when we never want the moment to end, life goes on. It is to be experienced uniquely in our own way for whatever time we have.

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