Monday, January 17, 2011

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend.

I’m going to keep this installment short. I’ve been working on another blog but it will have to wait. I was planning on finishing it today, being my day off, …but when I woke up this morning, I started my day as I usually do; by flipping open my laptop and pulling up emails, facebook, and other internet based forms of communication. Within about 3 minutes of starting this droopy eyed ritual, I was greeted with some rather blunt news.

A friend’s status read, “ RIP De Beal 1980-2011 :(

…I stared blankly at the screen for a minute trying to make sense of it. It just wasn’t real. It just wasn’t rational, or possible. I leapt to my cell phone. If it was true someone would have contacted me directly. I prayed I wouldn’t see a message. She was sick. Just a cold. I knew she wasn’t feeling well, but… What? How?

The screen on my phone was full of little read letters informing me I had a new message. Little red letters, promising it was going to be bad news.

It’s funny. We all deal with death in different ways. Some get angry and lash out. Some do something life affirming. Some just hole up and cry until their eyes feel like dried up raisins. My own reactions are hard to pinpoint. I will admit, I cried for a bit. Not something easily procured from me. I’ve seen death a few too many times. But there is one reaction everyone has that is the same. No matter how many or how few times you’ve had someone in your life pass, it always remains a constant. What is it about the end, that always makes us think about the beginning?

De was there during some of the hardest times of my life, and I her’s. …My parents’ car accident.Her baby sister’s fatality… And I regret to say, that De and I didn’t keep in active touch quite as much as I would have enjoyed since graduation. We tried. There were visits here and there. But things got in the way over time as they have with many of us.

I know like many of you reading this, you felt it happen. That pause. The news went out on facebook, our mass communication tool, and we all stopped and sat there virtually looking at each other, dumbfounded.

Some of us have grown apart. Some of us have stopped speaking. Some of us preferred it that way. But for a moment, a split second we all stopped, and we remembered those times we all sat in Kirsten’s or Erin’s, or De’s basement. Eating pizza, singing Karaoke, watching movies… I met my first High school boyfriend at one of De’s Halloween bashes, and remember her silently encouraging me to go for a walk with him so he could nervously fumble his words as he tried to ask me out.

We all stopped, and looked at each other through our computer screens. Our magic portal. We felt each other’s loss. Felt that touch of surreal. Had that passing realization that, it could have been any of us. No matter what has happened between us, what fights have broken out, or how far we’ve drifted and grown apart, for a split second we were all back where we bonded in the high school classroom. A family once more. And one of our own, was missing. …And one of our own, is missed.

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