I just learned that a woman I've known for years through an on line community died suddenly last night (or maybe earlier today?). I don't know what happened. I know she was on line yesterday playing Farmville. I know she had heart surgery in the past, but if she was ill this winter, I didn't know it. I really didn't know her well - liked, respected, enjoyed her - knew bits and pieces of her life story as she knew bits and pieces of mine. I know she leaves a husband, son, grandchildren who she loved intensely and spoke of with great warmth. I know they have to be in shocked grief right now and I don't know them at all, not enough that my comfort would be significant.
Another member of the same onlind community died last spring.
We're in our late fifties and sixties now, my contemporaries and I. There will be more deaths and they will come closer together. All I can do is be as good to everyone as I can and work harder on family pictures and stories so I will leave less undone that only I can do if I'm next to die. And anyway, it's good to get the stories shared. Tomorrow will be a day that allows me time for that kind of project. Tonight I think I'll take a bath, remember my friend, try to let her death soak in. Denial is so wierd. I don't even want to go out into the living room and tell Ruth and Chris she died, because I don't want it to be true and telling people anything always makes it seem more real.