Dealing with mourning is tough enough. Over the years I have lost a lot of people. More people than I care to even think about. I was about eight when I lost my first relative that mattered. I was in early teens late preteens when I lost my first peer. I was a teen when I saw someone die for the first time and held them through the process. Dealing with lost isn’t new to me.
What is new to me is social media and lost. In the last several years I have not lost anyone that had a social media presence. That all changed. This last week I have been dealing with the lost of someone I was connected with. Xavian was a good friend. He was someone I looked up to, that inspired me, someone that made me laugh, someone that made me do ridiculous things in the name of fun and someone that changed my life. A fucking stupid ass medical surprise took him away. I am devastated and grumpy to say the least. I have random outburst and tearful episodes. Xavian cannot be replaced.
This week I have found myself repeatedly checking his facebook, his twitter, his blogs and every other outlet I can. I realized this is what it’s like now. People track their lives on the internet and it is all there for us to consume over and over and over and over again. I think of myself as pathetic for checking every half hour like a crazy person. His last tweet was about him traveling and how he was going to post pictures with all the cool places he would go. I keep expecting there to be pictures, snarky comments and witty remarks. There’s nothing. Another update will never happen. Ever. I don’t know how to deal with that. His blogs are down so I expect soon everything else will follow. I don’t really know. I think of his wife and child and wonder if they do the same. I haven’t had the courage to talk to them yet. I just keep going back. My friends and partner say it isn’t pathetic that it is just me trying to reach out and some form of acceptance will come from after some time. I don’t know. He’ll never finish anything else. He’ll never travel. He will never send me random pictures of his dog with a mustache at 4am again.
We were writing buddies. We influenced a lot of each other’s writing. He was always honest with me about how stupid an idea was or how great an idea was. He was always the better writer. He was so amazing. So much so that the there is a main character in a novel I wrote with his name. I can’t look at it. I was working on his characters solo novel with him, getting his input and building his world. What am I supposed to do now? Yeah it’s finished but how can I even read it? How can I edit it? How can it exist without him? I decided to keep character Xavian alive because I didn’t want a sad story and now real him was taken from me.
It took me days to use past tense with him. I guess I have let go on some level. He will never know what is happening here with us. He will never know if I do get my head out of my ass and publish a damn book.
Is this what the world has become? Are these going to be the remaining testaments of our kind like the cave paintings and pyramid’s hieroglyphics are to us? Will those that come after us just stare at twitter feeds, facebook walls, tumblr dashboards and blogs to try to piece together who we were as a civilization? Does it get any easier with being able to look back on a part of someone’s life virtually? Will I ever stop going back?