Today I found out that a previous boyfriend passed away. He and I had only dated a few months but had parted on very good terms. He was a lovely gentleman, a decent actor and an overall SEXY, silver-haired stallion.
I found out that he was gone via Facebook. I further discovered that he had died 4 years ago.
And I had heard nothing about it.
Now, in the world's defense, I had moved out of state in the years immediately preceding his passing but, in my mind, that doesn't excuse the fact that NONE of the dozens of friends we had in common felt the urge to mention it to me. Not one. In 4 years.
This isn't the first time to find out about a former flame's passing after the fact. I once found out about the death of an ex-boyfriend on CNN (he was a professional athlete). When I asked my friends about it, they all claimed to think I already knew.
But this one felt different somehow. This one felt like a punch to the gut.
And then to find out on Facebook . . .
Now I am NOT blaming the messenger here. Had she never posted about him - I still would not know about it at all. I have just been having some issues in recent days with Facebook being used as a notifier of Big News. Just last week, I found out that a dear friend was moving out of state soon. I had seen her just a few days prior and suddenly I see a Facebook status about packing and moving and I was thinking WTF?? Not too long ago, a friend canceled her party via a Facebook status update, which I never saw. Fortunately, we contacted her to find out what type of snacky foods she liked - otherwise we would have been parked in front of her house wondering if we had been Punk'd.
I love the seeming intimacy Facebook (and similar networking sites) creates. But this is a false intimacy if the only contact is through reading 1-2 sentence blurbs about a person's life. This is NOT the place to drop big bombshells or to change big plans (unless of course you are using the MESSAGING - not chat- feature, which I feel is as good as an email but not as good as a phone call or face-to-face talk).
It only takes a slighter longer amount of time to pick up the phone and call as it does to type up a few lines. Next time you feel the urge to drop Big News via a social networking site consider who the recipient might be and how they might react.
I'm just rambling now. My mind is flooded with the imagery of those few short months as I try to recreate this man in my mind one last time. I hope that when I "move on," someone has the heart to let you know so you don't have to read about it.
Unless you read about it in Entertainment Weekly. I am kind of okay with that idea.