It affects us in a myriad of ways. Those ways get their collective cues from the distance that we are from the person/persons in question.
Using me as an example, certain events affected me certain ways. Tragedies that happened far away from me (i.e San Bernardino, Aurora, Virginia Tech), while they made me sad and angry, didn't affect me much. Tragedies that happened close to home (i.e. Sandy Hook/Newtown, CT Lottery, Hartford Distributors) made me exceptionally sad and angry, while tragedies dealing with the extended/immediate family (cousin passing away) hit me very hard.
As you can see, just about all the events in my life fall to two different ends. But what about a tragedy that falls on neither end of the spectrum, but somewhere in the middle?
This past Monday (1/4), I decided to log onto Facebook. No big thing there as my visits are pretty much the length of a three minute egg. But in my newsfeed, I saw a tagged photo featuring a FB friend with the phrase "RIP". Curiosity piqued, I went to my friend's timeline and saw to my dismay that I was seeing a boatload of tributes to this person.
Obviously, one W and the H came to the forefront, and I sat there scrolling through trying to find an answer to what the hell happened. Unfortunately, being the research nut that I am, I was able to put two and two together and came up with a conclusion that was confirmed two days later (the picture of Robin Williams couple with a prayer mantra was his last post on his timeline).
Now, my very talented (artist) FB friend had issues dealing with depression and he would often write about it on his timeline. Most of the time his other friends would try to help him deal with the issue in their own way. But apparently, over the course of the New Year's holiday, he decided to apply a permanent solution to what was a truly solvable problem.
While I wasn't particularly close to my FB friend, as we only hooked up because we went to the same high school, his death still bothers me. In my lifetime, I never had a friend/close acquaintance pass away. But this hit a bit too close for comfort. I don't care who you are, losing someone who is basically in your age bracket, give or take a year, makes you reexamine who you are as a person.
For the time being, my FB friend's page is still up and his family has posted a GoFundMe link to raise money for funeral expenses. Not sure if I'll donate to it, but if anything, this has made me stop and think about what I could've/should've/would've done while he was alive.
I know this probably sounds like a broken record, but as Ms. M always says, you can always do something to help, to prevent, to be that life preserver in a sea of quicksand. No matter what you think, a permanent solution to a solvable problem affects a grapevine's worth of people.
Addendum (1/10): The family changed his personal page to a memorial/remembrance page, and his family and friends are sharing their fondest memories of him, either verbally or combined with a pic.
(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.