Share and Share Alike
I got word the night before last, that a high school friend of mine had suddenly and unexpectedly been found dead. I hadn’t seen her since I was back in the Midwest last September but we communicated frequently via Facebook and email and the news of her death became something that one of my sisters would refer to as a “life sobering event”, My immediate response was to get in touch with a friend we had in common, someone who knew her even better than I did — and then to connect with another and another in the network of people that I hold dear and carry in my heart in a special way, the people from my growing up years. It helped. It didn’t change the loss of this dear person — but for me, sharing the grief softened its impact, just a little. The shock of discovering that someone I fully expected to still be a part of my life, and who now would never be again, was diluted ever so slightly by experiencing it with other people who felt similarly. It was an important reminder for me, as someone who normally tends to have slightly isolationist tendencies when I am upset, grieving or sad. Sharing grief is not necessarily all that different from sharing a brownie, a piece of cake or a sandwich. Sharing divides it into smaller pieces.