Facebook in the Real World! So, This is What I Did.
I posed a question last night in my blog, explaining that I had received notice that the brother of a friend with whom I had once been very close, had passed away. The choice was in whether or not I should attend a funeral for a person I had not seen for 25 years.
It seems that I agreed with the beliefs and thoughts of many of my commenters as I did choose to attend the funeral yesterday.
I felt exceedingly awkward as I walked up to the church searching for a vaguely familiar face among a hundred or more. Was that my friend? Perhaps that woman over there. . . It’s hard to know what she might look like after a quarter century.
Then, I walked into the church, and it was like yesterday. The picture up front was his senior picture, exactly the way I remember him. The responses to the priest were familiar, learned during the many Sundays I spent at church with their family.
Finally, upon leaving the church after the service, I approached my old friend. I walked up and introduced myself, not wanting the awkwardness of her not knowing who I was after all these years. Her response? A big hug and tears. “I’ve been meaning to call you,” she said, “but then this all happened”. Her brother had passed my phone number to her, and she hadn’t had time to reach out to me before tragedy struck.
She asked that I attend the reception at her parents’ home, so I did.
Her mother greeted me almost as soon as I walked through the door. “Christine Donovan! Sandy’s right, you look almost exactly the same.” My friend replied, “No, her hair’s not as dark nor quite as long.”
Her mom’s response? “She has a few more wrinkles too!” Did I mention, I used to be very close to this family?
A little later, her younger brother walked up, crossed his arms and stood in front of me, giving me a look I remember from many years ago and said only, “Christine Donovan!” The biggest difference for me? I now have to look up to see him instead of down.
What did I take away from this? Facebook is an amazing tool for getting back in touch, but to truly connect with people takes face to face contact. That and the fact that my husband was right when he told me I wouldn’t be able to hide in the back because anyone who knows me still recognizes me years later because the only difference is that I keep getting older (and more wrinkles ; )
Where will it lead? I don’t know, but I believe I brought some comfort to people who were so good to me so long ago.