I view Facebook like a time machine. It is a great way to reconnect with old friends. Although, I have over a hundred friends on Facebook, most of them are people I used to be friends with in high school or college. Only a few are current friends I actually see on a regular or semi-regular basis.
When I read the news via Facebook that one of my friends on Facebook had died, I was confused. She wasn’t even 30 yet? How could she have died? The words on my iPhone just sat there.
My friend Stephanie had died, suddenly, at 29.
I skimmed her profile and was shocked to have learned it had happened a few weeks ago. I missed it. I didn’t know. I felt like a bad friend. I felt ashamed that I didn’t know what happened.
Stephanie and I met in 2002 and were friends for the next few years. I helped her get a job as a bank teller. We’d talk about our bad relationships, meet for the occasional lunch. We weren’t close, but we weren’t far apart either. I think she kept me at arms length. I’m sure she had her reasons.
With one of her boyfriends she had a beautiful daughter named Korah, got married and we just drifted apart. Friends come and go like that sometimes. Separate lives and different priorities.
Miraculously, I stumbled on her Facebook page and we reconnected. The baby I had seen in a crib had grown into a cute little girl and Stephanie seemed happy with her life. She responded to my Facebook friend request with “Howdy Stranger” and we chatted about our lives. She seemed genuinely happy about where my life was at and I was pleased she was finding some solid footing and what looked like a bright future.
Over the next few months, I would be entertained by her Facebook posts and her pictures. She was smiling in all her pictures. She became an odd part of my Facebook life. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time, but made no plans to do so. I had no idea she was sick.
The online world can sometimes present a false pretense. I was really just a Facebook “friend.” We knew each other “back then.” I had no idea how things were really in her world today… just what I saw via social media. Who wouldn’t want to present only the positives to the world?
I wish I would have seen her again, just to laugh about old times and wish her well on her journey. This is all I get. A sad post about somebody that I used to know.