Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Death Seems Nearer

I found out last night that a friend had died.

Actually, she died a year and a half ago, but news does not always travel swiftly in this internet age, I guess!

It was an email message that conveyed the news to me – a message from the member of my high school graduating class who takes care of such alerts. Yes, the deceased was a friend from high school days.

I hadn’t stayed in touch with her much after graduation, but we had been friends since the fourth grade. We didn’t spend much time together outside of school, but during recess and breaks, we could often be found together, with the rest of a small circle of friends. We weren’t the “popular” kids, and that didn’t bother us at all.

Jean was funny. Now, reading her obituary, I remember things I’d forgotten – like how she was constantly making puns. She had quite a knack for it, and always enjoyed any kind of word play. She loved to read, and she grew up to become a librarian, which had been her childhood dream.

I remember her laugh, too; I can picture her, as if I’m watching a video, laughing and assuming a typical posture that she took when she had made what she considered to be a particularly clever pun.

We never shared intensely personal things, that I can recall, though. We were just friends sharing the journey through grade school, junior high, and high school. We helped each other have some fun along the way.

Anyway, her death strikes me differently than the deaths of other class members – people who weren’t really friends, but just people I knew slightly or was aware of as members of the class. There’s something about having all those memories from very early years… 

Jean’s death makes death itself more real to me, I guess. 

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

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