Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Missed Connections

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
Mitch Albom

“We often forget our human connectedness. Throughout my life, I have felt the greatest beauty lies in this connection. It has been in the deepest connections with others that I have experienced the greatest degree of learning, healing and transformation. This connection is a powerful thing, with the ability to transform lives, and ultimately transform human experience.”
Kristi Bowman 

Photo courtesy of photostock/
Last night, I dreamed of an old friend.  She is a friend I haven't seen since I was a teenager.  We have no current connections.  She isn't a "Facebook friend" nor have I searched for her name on Google.  Many, many years ago, we shared a table in a classroom and, while she was an important piece of my world then, she is simply a memory to me now.

But last night, there she was!  She hadn't aged at all.  Her skin was still perfect.  And she was inviting me to a party.  How lovely!  It didn't seem unusual in my dream and, as I eyed the invitation list,  I spied a variety of friends, past and present, and wondered aloud at the connections.

We spend our lives weaving in and out of memories.  We share pieces of our day with veritable strangers who become part of the background noise of our lives.  We wave at neighbors and exchange pleasantries at the grocery store with the parents of our kids' friends whose names we can never quite remember.   We recognize the faces of people we see across the aisles at church.  In and out.  They come and go. 

But what happens when one of them disappears?

Today, I received some terrible news about a colleague I worked with not too long ago.  He died last night after a car accident.  Unforeseen.  Unexplained.  Here yesterday.  Gone today.

I don't have the audacity to say he was my friend, although I liked him very much.  His true friends, I am sure, are missing him terribly already.  He was a handsome guy with a quick, broad smile.  He often had positive things to say even when things around him were gloomy. I saw him almost daily for many years as we drudged through our workdays. 

I liked him.  And now he is gone. 

This news has hit me very hard, even though I wasn't close to him.  He was a part of my world.  And I am sad that I will never get the chance to know him better.  That was my loss.  Because of my faith, I believe that he is now in a wonderful place...but my heart breaks for his wife and for the children he has left behind.

I saw him last Thursday.  He smiled at me and we exchanged hellos but I didn't stop to speak with him.  You see, I was on my way to something else.  I was Busy With Important Things.  There were too many people that day that I didn't pause to speak to.

We go through our days, often hurried and harried.  We complain about our partners, our children, and our jobs.  We bend over our smart phones, inhaling social media without pausing to be a part of our own lives.  We nod and smile and wave.  Or we grimace and frown and avoid.  But we don't connect.

Life is precious.  And it is fragile.  And we are only here for a short time.  We have this one life and this one opportunity to connect.

Jayan, you and your smile will be everyone you touched.

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1 comment:

  1. Oh, you connect. Just not with everyone every moment. That would be impossible.