It isn’t that we were actual friends. More like pleasant acquaintances. I know of her but hadn’t talked to her until she began following my writing. At that point, we had a few email conversations about some of the subjects that I had written about.
One of those subjects was Ireland. It made her think about her trips to Norway, where she visited relatives.
I love Ireland. She loved Norway.
The last time I saw my friendly acquaintance, was just prior to our moving south. I saw her in a local carryout. I was buying scratch off lottery tickets pats and she had just purchased cigarettes.
We chatted for a few minutes. I told her we were moving. She mentioned that she and her husband had moved into a little schoolhouse type building. She mentioned that her son had bought their big house on the lake.
It was a peasant chat. Friendly acquaintances. A pleasant sort of relationship.
One of my sons knew her husband. I think that they were friendly acquaintances, too. One day, maybe a year or so ago, I received an email from my son, saying the husband of my friendly acquaintance, had died.
I didn’t know him, but I felt badly for his wife.
Remember when Robin Williams died? That hit me. I didn’t know him, but I grieved. The same with Anthony Bourdain. I recall, crying, when Nick told me what had happened. Nick asked why I was crying, and all I could say was that I was just very sad. I was going to miss him.
Maybe it is my age, or how the world is or just the way my mind works, but when I hear about certain deaths, though I might now have known the person, feel like a bit of a punch in the gut. My equilibrium takes a hit, and I grieve.
I have a friend that I have had for probably 35 or 36 years. Long time. Good friend.
The other day I called her. We chatted and caught up on what her kids were doing and how my kids are. We talked politics and laughed and about my old neighbors and that the people who bought our old house, which is next to hers, are taking good care of my cottage garden.
She asked me if I knew a certain person. This person was my friendly acquaintance. I said, yes, I know her.
“She died last week.,” she said.
My gut immediately hurt. She was only 67.
I can make 67 sound young or old. It depends on how I am looking at it. For death, it is young.
My friend told me the circumstances for the woamn’s death, which unsettled me even more. Fire, burns … suspected to be caused by smoking.
My mind flashed back to our chat at the carryout. She and her husband had a lake house and were planning on spending more time there. Her obituary mentioned that she and her husband began dating at 16.
Now, 3 years later, they both are gone. Their 3 adult children have lost their parents and their children have lost their grandparents.
And though I didn’t know either, well, they are in my craw.
Futures. Plans. Pasts. Unexpected Losses.
I think I will sit and watch some birds for a fe minutes.