I got an email from a friend of mine a few days ago that I haven't been able to answer yet. She talks about stuff going on, as life does, and then mentions in passing that her step-father passed away.
Two months ago.
To really understand, you need to know that I spent a lot of time in high school at her place, and although I'd never go so far as to say they were my second parents, her family made her place my second home. I remember so many times in that apartment, I remember dancing at their wedding, and I have so many recollections of her parents together like that. The idea that one of them is dead has struck me like a kick in the stomach.
Especially since it was two months ago... and no one thought to tell me.
I don't blame her or her mom - my first priority if my dad died wouldn't be emailing people who haven't seen him in two years. And frankly, he was ill, and I've been waiting off and on over that two year period to hear that something had happened. But I'm sitting here, staring at this comment in her email, and I'm shocked. For two months I thought he was alive, and he wasn't. He's been gone, and I didn't know.
It's touched into my biggest fear about living so far away - that not only can something bad happen without me there, but that no one would think to contact me. I wouldn't be a priority to know. And whereas I'd probably find out eventually, I don't know how long that time would take. I have friends that I know either entirely through the internet, and I don't think anyone would ever let me know, they'd just drop off the net. Other friends... no one else I'm close to is close to them, and I'd never be told. When weeks or months can go between contacts, it's easy not to notice you haven't heard from someone in a while.
I'm so afraid.
I can't even seem to grieve properly. I haven't seen him in so long that his absence isn't really something that affects me. I can believe that nothing's happened, that life in Abbotsford is continuing exactly the way it was when last I was there, but it's not happening. I forget, for a while, and then feel awful that I have.
I don't want to keep worrying. I don't want to wonder if a blog hasn't been updated or an email not returned, if I don't get a phone call that wakes me because of the time different, that something awful has happened. But I don't know what else to do. I don't want to go back, because I have friends here I would miss and worry about as much. I don't want to stop caring, because these are wonderful people who deserve to be cared about. I don't want to stop making friends, because I'd be lonely without people around.
But I keep thinking that I wouldn't know. No one would think to tell me, because I'm so far away.
And I wonder how long I could go if something happened to me before someone would know....
Forgive me for angsting. The Military Tattoo is tonight, and there will be fireworks and explosions above the castle.
Little by little a piece of your soul shatters.
Soon all will fade.
All will fade