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Day 298

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

When moving out of my former family home, I found a decade-old paper address book. For reasons of nostalgia, I began going page by page through the book. I looked up former classmates, colleagues, and friends so social media. I friended/followed/connected with them. I put them in my phone. It is as if I might, at any moment, call a person I knew from an undergraduate summer job or a person from a long-abandoned study group.

They are older, their families got bigger, and they moved to follow careers, comfort, or spouses.

A result of this walk down memory lane is that people who knew me in my youth are seeing my social media profiles for the first time. They are reading about Constance’s death. They are sending their condolences.

It’s weird to have someone you haven’t spoken to since you shared markers in elementary school or a rush class in college tell you they’re sorry your child died. They didn’t know she existed but they’re sorry she passed. If you’re a cynical person, you’d say that that reflects the shallowness and insincerity of giving condolences. I tend to think it’s the other way.

When people discover that your only child died suddenly at age eight, they are rendered speechless with the sheer terror of it. As a result, they fall back on the tradition of saying they are sorry for your loss. They are sorry. Like me and you, they are sorry that any eight-year-old would die. I think this is the kind of universal truth that conjures a common response, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

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Miembro desconocido
08 ene 2019

Day 299 is at

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