Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not sure how to title this...

Just a warning, this is going to be a blog entry that is more like something that should be in my journal. I guess it's just something I feel like I need to share. I found out today that a former coworker, friend, and guy I dated a little died of pancreatic cancer. The emotion I felt over this was somewhat surprising to me. First of all, I hadn't spoken to him in something like 9 years. (Okay, 10, but that number just sounds scary to me.) I am fully aware that any emotion or grief I am feeling is more about me than about him. Don't get me wrong, it is incredibly sad that he had to suffer  and that he died so young, leaving a wife and 9-month-old daughter behind. But, the root of my sadness is more the realization that I can die. That those I love can die, anytime, without warning. This guy lived in the Middle East for years, among terrorism and war, and didn't die then. He was in the West Bank, Beirut, Iraq...but he wasn't killed by suicide bombers; his life was snuffed out by cancer in his mid thirties. This bucks all logic, and is therefore scary. I also always felt a little bad about how things ended up with him...lots of loose ends with me not speaking to him ever again. (It helped that he lived halfway around the world, making bumping into him at Safeway improbable.) The loose ends were fine when he wasn't dead. Death kind of ties up any earthly loose ends and not in a way we always like. He was a nice guy, one of the first I knew after moving to DC, and I would have liked to keep knowing him. I have good memories and associations of him from that time in my life, in my early 20s, which seems like so long ago.


I think technology has intensified the shock and emotion. I found out about his death on someone's Facebook status update. Yeah, Facebook. And then was made immediately close to the situation through his wife's blog which detailed his illness and last days and had guestbook entries from lots of friends (including me). It's bizarre. And, here I go again, drawing you all in. Anyway, I'll leave it saying that I know Mike will be missed by his family, and I hope he rests in peace.

6 comments:

  1. No matter what time of our life we lose someone we were close to it is a shock and hurts. In your case, finding out and the details the way you did was a shock and he was so young. Remember the good times and that he is at peace. Say a prayer for his family and you. Live, Laugh, Love, always. None of us know our destiny we all hope to live long healthy lives, that is why we should all try to live life to the fullest, have fun, laugh with our friends and loved ones.
    It is always good to share, it helps the individual get through the hurtful times. THat is what friends are for even just blog friends.

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  2. Like Dolly said, it's always hard, and I think no matter how hard one tries, there are always loose ends and "I should haves"...
    I'm grateful that you were able to share this with us, because that's what friends are for -- even ones that have never met in person, and live across a continent from each other.
    A line from a poem of my aunt's says "Death makes life precious" -- maybe we can all take from this the reminder to reach out to our friends (including our blog-friends) and our loved ones while we can... {{{{hugs}}}}

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  3. Thanks Dolly (ie Mom) and Beth--it was definitely helpful to put my feelings into words and to share it. It's definitely put perspective on my life!

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  4. This was a good and provocative post, you know.
    Grief for someone who's alive and suffering can be about them because we can do something to relate to them. Grief for someone who's gone is always about us, and there's nothing to be ashamed of there.

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  5. nothing to add but a cyber-hug sent your way. certainly learning about the death of someone who was once close via Facebook would be a shock to anyone.

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  6. Thanks everyone! There seems to be a plethora of bad things happening this month...

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Since you have great taste in blogs, I don't think I have to tell you to be nice to each other...and don't spam me. Thanks!