Yesterday I opened Facebook and saw posts about the death of someone who used to be a regular part of my life. I’ve written before about my time working with a church youth group. I also wrote about leaving that church and how it seemed that no one noticed. And, finally, I wrote about my bad trend of losing connection with people when I move on to other places. All of those come to mind in the wake of yesterday’s news.
I worked with a church youth group for 14 years. for the entire 14 years, Tom also worked with the same youth group. I saw Tom at least once a week for all of those years, usually more. Each year, we would go to Ocean City for a weekend with the leadership council of the youth group. We spent quite a bit of time together, but only at church events. We were not the type of friends who saw each other outside of that venue. I guess you could consider us work friends. We enjoyed working together with the youth group. We liked each other. We just didn’t hang out when that work was over. When I eventually left that church, I lost touch with pretty much everyone there. I’m friends with several people from the church on Facebook, but that is it. I rarely even run into people from the church when I am out and about in the area.
I am sad today. Obviously sad that Tom is gone. Sad for the people I know who were very close to him. Sad for his family. Sad for those who were like family to him. All of the normal sad that comes with news like this.
I’m also sad that we completely lost touch. I had not seen him in at least ten years and we live in the same town. I’m sad about lost connections and lost friends. I’m sad that I’m not better about keeping those connections. I’m sad that the opportunity to reconnect with him is gone forever. I’m sad that I know that this will probably not make me work harder to reconnect with others.