I went back and forth before writing this post.
Actually, the post was there in my mind for awhile, but I had yet to commit it to words.
On New Year’s Eve 2015, I found out my friend and classmate of nearly 25 years had passed away earlier that month. She was only in her mid-thirties.
I found out randomly while very briefly checking my Facebook updates. I don’t like to spend a lot of time on FB, but quickly clicked over to my feed, expecting to see the usual Starbucks photo or someone ranting about the weather.
I saw a mutual friend’s update mentioning the sad and shocking news. I messaged her and few others to fill in the blanks of what happened. Apparently there had been family problems and unfortunately a drug addiction was involved too. She also left behind two young daughters. I don’t want to go too much into detail of what little I know, but many hearing this may be quick to condemn her, calling her selfish.
Back in school, she was intelligent and talkative. She was the only child of a single mother and never knew her father, other than that he had a violent past.
During recess at times, she would talk at length about how she wished she had known him and how hard her life seemed to be. I’m sure she carried this burden well into adulthood, determined not to let history repeat itself.
She was teased quite a bit right through eighth grade (when she left our school), mostly called fat. I was one of the only people who hung out with her. I guess we just clicked somehow.
I found her online through MySpace years later and messaged her before giving her a call. We hadn’t spoken in 12 years. She seemed well and spoke happily about her family. The final time we spoke was in 2012, and things weren’t as great, but okay. I thought about calling her again sometime after that, but never seemed to have the time…
I guess what I’m trying to say is, we all have our own baggage from the past, whether it’s with parents, a spouse, siblings, friendships gone south, or even with children. We should be mindful of these things any time we interact with someone and realize that our words can cut deeper than we could ever know.
And find a few minutes to pick up the phone or send that text. Your words may be exactly what they do need to hear.
RIP my friend.