When I learn that someone I've known has died, I find myself thinking first of that person, then their family and their loss, the memory I have of being with that person, and then I take in my surroundings. The mundane thing - my computer in front of me, the tiny screwdriver I see next to my keyboard which I'd hoped to use to finally install the damn RAM into my laptop, the ganesh. And as I do things about my house; my bathroom sink, the papers I'm filing through. I think of these things because they are such everyday things, and I am looking at them, and I feel OK, and that person will never do something like that again. They see nothing.
I have been going through old boxes of paper, paperwork, letters and more during this break from work. I found photos and letters from my high school boyfriend. I found photos and letters form a boy I met at the start of high school, an exchange student who was my first big crush. I have at least 40 letters form him. I narrowed the collection. I didn't even read all the letters when I unpacked them, but I still can't bring myself to throw all of them out. Same goes for the letters from Pete. I suppose it's just the documentarian in me.
Over the many years that have passed since knowing the exchange student, I have tried to find him, maybe every seven years or so, with no luck. I thought I'd try again and pow! There he was on Linked in. I sent him a "connection" and woke this morning to find he'd accepted. So perhaps I will be learning about this old friend soon.
I also came across my college documentary project - a thesis of sorts, about 13 year old girls in the Athens area in Ohio where I went to school. I did a search for them and found two of them on FB, smiling out from the screen, both marries, one with an adorable little baby. I sent each of them messages, so perhaps I will be catching up with them, too.
Then a posting on FB that brings me back to the topic I started with; my mother's college friend posts about her daughter "flying to the angels yesterday" and I realize that my mother's god-daughter, it could seem, has killed herself.
I have a nice memory of jenni. I was in high school and she was a bit older, visiting from MI. We had watched Murder on The Nile and loved mimicking the staffer on the boat who hollered in a this Egyptian accent after finding a cobra on board "Oh, never hev I seen such a reptile in a first cless cebin!". She and I explored the science museum together. She had a great laugh. And was happy. And now that's all simply gone. And I find that strange.