Facebook is a strange place.
You potter along, minding your own business when all of a sudden you get a friend request. Usually (for me at any rate) you know the person straight away so you can make an instant decision on whether to accept them or not. Sometimes you really have no idea who they are and it is an equally quick decision to make.
But sometimes you get a friend request that you are not quite sure about. Usually it is a woman whose name you don't recognise (due to being a married name), who has changed over the years so you can't quite remember them.
So you start the detective work and find out that it was someone who you knew at school so you accept the friend request and have the odd chat and send/receive the odd message and over time you get to know them all over again.
Well today, I found out that a friend from school died in her sleep last night.
It was a surprise to say the least but it made me think about how we deal with life and death.
She was my age. It is no age to pass away. She collected friends on Facebook like an avid hoarder. She loved her cats and until recently, her status was married. She was certainly a larger than life character and after a few drinks, liked to chat about this and that.
I am almost ashamed to say that I didn't know her any more than I have mentioned here.
But that is just the way of things. We all have circles of friendship that start at the point the pebble hits the water and expands to barely a ripple. It would be nice to think that we can keep every friendship we ever made but it wouldn't be possible. Some friendships are fleeting and others are a part of you.
Facebook helps us recall those fleeting friendships of the past but doesn't help at times like these. It doesn't comfort you and sympathise with your loss. It doesn't help you get back on track or take away the guilt or doubts you may be suffering. All it does is keep providing the opportunity for re-kindling all those long forgotten associates and friendships from the past.
Rest in Peace Caroline. I knew you half as well as I should have and a hundredth of what you deserved.
See you from the pebble beach.