Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

My husband’s grandfather used to call his son every night and ask, “Did anyone drop dead today?” Usually the answer was “No,” but occasionally his inquiry was rewarded with a newsy tidbit. Did you know that nowadays you can receive an email notification if someone in your circle of friends drops dead? I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’m hoping I would know already… yet if I didn’t, I’d hate to miss the news. How wide are our circles? Who is a friend?

The idea is that you can go to legacy.com and list people, and if any of them die, you will be notified. I don’t know who to put on my list. Or why, if I were adding a long-lost friend, I would not try to contact her now vs. just wait til the email comes so I can mourn.

Banal comments maybe… but in the aftermath of a sudden death in our family, I’m seeing how a death touches people far and wide if a life has been well-lived. The guy at the gas station. Somebody who hasn’t seen him in 50 years but can’t stop crying. The recipient of weekly letters of encouragement. A kid who always liked the latest magic trick or joke. A niece who thought of him as inhabiting a magic kingdom which she could visit as honored guest. People who knew they were noticed and heard.

I’m not in regular touch with some of the many people whom I love. But I still love them. Maybe we can reconnect before I hear, “You’ve Got Mail,” and it’s all over.

~ by Cary on April 24, 2008.

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