I spend a lot of time thinking about life and death; probably more time than I really should considering this is the only life I’ve got and I ought not waste it by thinking about matters over which I have no control. I can’t help it, though. I suppose this is because I don’t like not being in control and I hate surprises and death is an aspect of life that I cannot control and will, in the end, surprise me.
What’s got me pondering today is what will become of me after I’m long gone. How will I be remembered and how many people will there be who will actually know the real me? What has really got me thinking today is learning of the passing of the “other” Dorienne Smith.
About five years ago, I was standing in front of a friend of mine as they were searching for me on Facebook to add me as a friend. To my absolute shock, we saw that there were two Dorienne Smiths. I immediately added the other Dorienne as a friend and we marvelled together over our similarities.
Aside from looking vaguely similar, we were born in the same year, our birthdays were less than 10 days apart meaning that we were both Libras, we were both born in New York and we liked some of the same things. I’m not good at being friends when I don’t see folks every day or hear from them often and our Facebook friendship became like so many of my others, despite our similarities.
Earlier this year, however, I noticed that I’d gone from seeing numerous updates from her in my status feed to seeing nearly none, but since I’m not good at being a friend, I imagined I had just been unfriended and did not further investigate.
Today, while perusing my list of friends at random, I saw that Dorienne had not unfriended me and was still in my list of friends. To be honest, I was shocked, so I clicked on her profile to see why I saw so few of her updates lately.
The first few posts to her wall did not strike me as out of the ordinary when I saw a few “I miss you” posts; I imagined she had perhaps moved or was out of town or something. As I continued scanning her wall, I felt a growing dread in my chest when I saw that this was not the case and that every single post on her wall was a post of sincere expression over someone who had been lost.
I probably read through two months worth of posts hoping to catch something that told me something different, something that would tell me that I was mistakenly…but I didn’t. It was very, very clear that Dorienne had passed and, though I never got a chance to know her, I was heartbroken.
I sent a message to the last person who had posted to her wall to inquire what had happened and even after I learned the truth, I was still very unsettled. Someone like me…no, just like me had passed away a year earlier, even before her 26th birthday.
It’s difficult to explain this feeling. I expressed to send my condolences to her family, but I still did not know what to do and even now I still don’t. Why did God see fit to send one Dorienne Smith home August last year and not another is a mystery to me and I’m not sure how to grieve.
To say that I’m out of sorts is an understatement. I managed to write, but still I’m seeking comfort and asking God for answers I know I’ll not get, at least not today.
I wrote 764 words today (took a new piece of sketch paper to start again. and I think this is really all I’ve got to say today.