I try to keep this blog upbeat and centered around FPF but last night, being a little bored while waiting for my dinner to cook I was searching the internet. I google peoples names that I was once close to trying to find out where they are now. Not necessarily on FB because most of the people I’m looking for wouldn’t be on FB.
I should know better.
Last time I did this I was looking for a dear friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time. She would always, always call me on my birthday. Her husband had been a teacher of mine many years ago and we always stayed in touch. I would always send her a Christmas card with pictures of the kids and she would joke about being the world’s worst correspondent. I told her I didn’t mind, I knew it and we would always connect along the way. The last time I talked to her was a painful conversation because she told me that her husband had died.
It was agonizing.
They were such a loving couple, a true team, the kind of yin and yang relationship that is so rare. I was heartbroken – missing him but more for her pain. He had died rather suddenly four months earlier and I had never heard her sound so broken. We talked for a very long time and when I hung up I had to deal with my own grief over the news.
A year goes by, I sent my Christmas card but didn’t hear from her. I figure she’s too busy to call and don’t think much about it for another year (yes, another year). This time my Christmas card is returned.
I emailed a mutual friend then Googled her name and her obituary came up. Sigh . . .
It would have been better to hear it from a friend I think. I reeled for a few weeks at her loss (and she really had been gone for some time). I swore I would never do that again.
Fast forward to 1/2/2013. The above mentioned couple had introduced me to a friend of theirs – a Catholic priest who was maybe a few years older than I am. (This was a different life mind you, about 30 years ago). My religious phase – a subject for another time. This man was truly wonderful. He was the most gentle soul I have ever met. He was in a parish in eastern Mass. at the time. We had many, many conversations about the church, theology, life. I kept in touch with him for many years through letters mostly and I would see him every once in a while. He was the only priest I had ever met that was a regular guy.
Last night I Googled his name and the first thing that popped up was an article about him leaving the church due to his scandalous affairs with a couple of women. Nooooooooo . . .
What this really got me to thinking about was how our whole reality has changed with all of this information. Ten years ago I may have wondered , “Hmmmm, I wonder where so and so is?”, but the effort to find them would have been pretty intense and I would have just continued to wonder and they would have remained in stasis. I would have found out about peoples deaths from mutual friends (maybe). I would never have known about people I care about and respect being involved in and characterized as demons by the press. I would just be living my life remembering how wonderful all of these relationships were and in my mind remained that way.
My resolution for 2013 and beyond is to never Google another person again because I don’t want to know. I would rather live my life in ignorant bliss.