Social Media and Surprise Encounters

Pat & Janet celebrating Easter

Pat & Janet celebrating Easter

Social media, in this instance, Facebook, is either liked or disliked by my friends. Some won’t have anything to do with it and others embrace it. It is a way to communicate and share little bits of our daily lives. I belong to several Facebook groups that are of interest in my life. I enjoy reading the quotes, seeing what everyone is up to and in one of the groups, learning about my RV.

About six months ago I friended Pat on Facebook. We used to work together. Years ago I facilitated a meditation group in my home. Pat and her husband Gene were some of the founding members of this group. Our small group quickly became friends. Besides the meditation group that met weekly, we had fun together. I remember four of us celebrating my birthday in the desert. I admired and respected Pat and Gene. They were unique and different and very much their own person and they liked me.

Janet, Gene, Pat, Kevin in the desert

Janet, Gene, Pat, Kevin in the desert-many years ago celebrating my birthday in the desert

Once I quit working as an RN,  we lost track of each other. Occasionally I would meet Pat while out shopping. We would stop catch up and then be on our way. Early last week I saw her name on my Facebook page. I decided to send her a message. Oh what a delight she answered. I was excited, she was excited.

This past Friday Pat came to my home (remember I am still no weight bearing on my right leg) and we spent approximately six hours catching up. We had more to share than I could wish. Gene, her partner for over forty years died in 2013. The two of us cried and laughed and shared as only someone who has lost their love could do.

I was not planning to do anything for Easter. That changed in a flash and a chance message on Facebook.  I spent a wonderful afternoon and early evening with Pat, her daughter, Mahrya, a friend of hers, Joan and the kids. Here I went from doing nothing to spending an enjoyable afternoon in the backyard of Mahrya’s home, sharing with these wonderful women. Mahrya and Joan’s children rounded out the group. And, you know, it was one of the best Easter’s I can remember. We read our Tarot, and learned about the importance of our numbers and finished it off with a lovely Easter dinner.

Me celebrating Easter with my purple hair wig, it belongs to Gracie

Me celebrating Easter with my purple hair wig, it belongs to Gracie, Mahrya’s daughter

I am so grateful that Facebook helped Pat and I reconnect. My heart is so full of joy. Our bond is new and it is strong. I am glad we are re-establishing our friendship. I think camping is in our future and some traveling as well. Mostly, though, I have someone who I can share grief with. I am finding that many little parts of grief are common to others who have experienced this.

  • Do we care about eating? No.
  • Is it hard to cook for one? Yes.
  • Do I want to cook? No.
  • I am not single, I am not married, I am often just me.
  • Yes we both dislike the word widow.
  • Pat a photographer and musician, and I, a watercolor artist no longer feel an urge to practice our medium.
  • What is next?
  • We both feel we are wading through the unknown and learning as we go.
  • Crying is normal. Crying at unusual times is normal.
  • Enjoying life is normal. Not enjoying life is normal.
  • It is hard to go back to the gym. (of course I can’t right now) The gym was something that Pat and I did with our partners.
  • Pat has a hard time going into the grocery store, Gene did the shopping.

The list could go on, yet I believe you get the gist. I am feeling that I am now at a place where I want to share my grief. I don’t want to share it with anyone. I want to share it with someone who has been there. Enter Pat. Oh thank you.

I do believe I am given lessons as well as gifts in my life. Lessons can be hard. Gifts are often amazing. Pat is truly a gift for me. I am glad I am on Facebook. I am glad I reconnected with Pat. I am excited about renewing our friendship. I am thankful for someone to share grief with on an intimate level. I am thankful for Pat.


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