I would like to say thank you to Facebook. People are too quick to judge it as the end of human contact. As if every angry rant, mysterious song lyric, and seemingly meaningless update was not created by very human fingers. They were put there by confused teens, angry girlfriends, and broken hearts feeling very human emotions.
Facebook has brought me the news of engagements, allowed me to share in weddings, cheer a birth, and offer support to those in need. On more than one occasion, it has also brought me the news of someone’s passing. There’s a negative stigma to saying, “I found out online.” But honestly, what is the graceful way to learn about a death?
This past week Facebook delivered me the news of a death. It was almost silent. It crept in. My news feed was it’s usual clutter of music, video clips, a few ads, and news of the mundane. But there, mixed in, friends started to ask for strength, thank the powers that be for the time they had, and reach out to each other. The vibration of realizing agony. It sinks in slowly, and two clicks confirm it. Someone who used to be very close is now far away.
I would never have found out. I haven’t had the privilige of seeing this person in a few years. But she’s so bright in my memory. It’s stunning, really. A part of a yoga community that adopted me. Her mat placed on the floor next to mine and her care in always asking after my life. And her radient energy. Learning yoga wasn’t easy for me. The control, the stength, the ability to burn away your thoughts and push on did not come naturally to me. But she was my secret weapon. When I started to faulter, I would tune into her. Match my breaths to her’s, and let it guide me. Vivacious doesn’t even begin to cover it.
I was shocked to learn that she’s gone on. I had always assumed she would live for a thousand years. In many ways, she will. As the news writhed through Facebook, out came the love right behind it. Her students, her friends, her family. Everyone was touched. Add their hearts together and I’m sure you already have more than a thousand years of living locked away.
So thank you, Facebook, for allowing me to share in a community that is miles away from me. Thank you for allowing me to wake up my memories and feel the sadness and warmth that comes with these experiences. Thank you for being a silly little Internet thing that reminds me how human I am.