Tonight, while wasting time (perhaps) on Facebook, I learned that a childhood friend lost her husband, Greg, to pancreatic cancer.
Maggie and I were friends in middle school. I honestly don’t know how long it has been since we last talked. Twenty five years perhaps?
Maggie is a jewelry maker and Facebook suggested I like her site a few years ago. Since then I have received updates about her shows and newest pieces. I may have given some thought to this old friend, glad she was doing work she clearly loved. And then a few months ago, the tone of her messages changed. Her husband had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I started to pay a bit more attention to her posts, intrigued by the amazingly loving community that surrounded her.
Over the past few months, I have watched this community hold fundraisers, respond immediately to requests for help and send positive and loving comments to this strong couple. Clearly Greg and Maggie were people who loved and were loved deeply.
I learned that Greg, in his last days, did not want to hear goodbye but only, I love you.
When I found myself scrolling through one comment after the other supporting and loving Maggie after she posted the news of Greg’s death, I got angry. Without Facebook, I would never have known this sad news. My first response was how silly I was being and what a waste of time Facebook could be. I was crying over the loss of this man that I did know. I was crying with sadness for an old, old friend who probably would not recognize me if I walked in to her living room today.
What unnecessary sadness, I thought.
But maybe not. Of course, I have wasted many hours on Facebook but maybe this time was not wasted. I know that over the next few days I will think often of Maggie and send love to her and to Greg. And I suppose any time spend sending love is not wasted.