I lived in Melbourne 10 years ago for a year. It was mostly a good year and I had some great friends down there.
I received a call last night from one of those friends to tell me another had died suddenly last week.
The news reminded me that there are many of my friends I have lost touch with over time that I should have made more effort to maintain basic contact with.
I am a shocker - I mean to do Christmas cards every year - sometimes I get around to doing a few but never enough. I have a folder of "I must reply to" emails that is so huge now - and many are over a year old...
I used to be a habitual "form letter update" to my far-flung friends, then it was "form email update" - both have petered out.
I tell some about my blog, but really this is neither a journal of the minutae of my life nor a true individual communication, rather a mirror or telescope into little aspects.
It seems like I am paring off the feeling part of me that I used to put into my friendships, and I realise now that it REALLY sucks.
I have HAD so many friends through my life. I have moved many times, and sometimes I have kept the contact, other times faded away.
It takes a wake up call like this to make me realise that my friends (and I am lucky, as I have family members who are also my friends) deserve a little more from me...
Jo was many things and will be missed greatly by her family and her friends. I do miss her too - but I also miss that, apart from sporadic contact, I missed so much of her when she was alive and I wish I could have told her.
So I am making an effort to rectify this with other friends, starting today...
Of course, I immediately stumbled, as I called the friend who had originally introduced us to comiserate with her - and she had not been told.
What is the etiquette there? And why do I feel so crappy that I was the one to have to tell her?
Whistling in the wind here - be back and hopefully less naval-oriented then.