The thing about Facebook is sometimes you find yourself friends with people you don’t really personally know so well. They may be mere acquaintances—people you met at work yet you never really talked to, parents of your child’s friends, friends’ friends, or people you went to school with many years ago.
Facebook reconnects people. It allows you to be privy to someone’s life events. You know of them based on their statuses and the pictures they share. Sometimes you don’t really talk to a person yet you feel that you know so much about them because of what you see on their pages. You even feel like you know their family and friends.
Over the weekend, I came across a Facebook post that made me literally stop and stare at the screen of my iPad for a good ten minutes. I had to make sure I read the post correctly.
It was a notice of someone’s passing. It was a message from a mother, bidding her 20-year old daughter farewell with the promise that they will see other again soon.
My heart bled.
I met the mom in my son’s elementary school. She was a teacher. During one of our Parent-Teacher conferences some ten years ago, we got to talking and found out that we came from the same high school. She was a year younger, but we had friends in common. We instantly became Facebook friends after that meeting.
Over the years, I learned more about her not because we talked to each other but because I would see her posts on my newsfeed. Though I hardly saw her in person and my son had already moved schools, I still knew what was going on in her life because of the posts she shared.
She shared a lot of photos of her girls, of her adorable students and their school activities, and even of her dog.
Mostly she posted about her adventures and travels with her two girls. I haven’t met them personally but I know their names and I feel like a part of their family.
Three of them together, always with big smiles. Always happy, carefree, living life, and enjoying moments of being together.
Until the notice last weekend. Her youngest girl, gone too soon.
If you read a post like that and not get a jolt, I don’t know what will.
I can only imagine how she is feeling. No, I won’t even try to imagine it. Heartbroken would be an understatement. Maybe it’s more like experiencing the world crumbling down on you, both literally and figuratively.
Parents should not be burying their children. It should be the other way around. Our children should live long, full lives. We should be the ones to go first, prepare the way for them in heaven as we do on earth.
I don’t really know the circumstances that led to the young girl’s demise. I only heard bits and pieces. The girl got ill, there were complications, she didn’t survive.
It was every mother’s nightmare. My heart goes out to my friend.
Life is short. A lot of times we bother ourselves with the mundane things that we forget to appreciate the important things. We obsess about things we don’t have, people we don’t like. We get petty, we waste our time and energy on things that won’t do us any good, like people who bring out the worst in us.
When you hear about someone you know losing a person really important to them, you get jolted awake. It hits close to home. Somehow you realize that you want to make the most of whatever time you have on earth with the people you love. You realize that you want to get the most out of life.
As we get older, the days seem to move much faster. And we find ourselves questioning—are we living the life we want to live?
So go, make time to spend with the people who matter to you. Reach out. Show them that you love them, Hug them, Laugh, Laugh hard. Experience how it feels to love and be loved unconditionally. Find your purpose. Capture moments. Don’t just connect on Facebook, connect in real life.
Live each day knowing that time is fleeting. Because only then will you value that which is truly important.
Live with no regrets.