Back in the day, you have to actually meet up with your friends to find out and catch up on news about them and the people you both know – besides getting post mail but that took ages. These days, all you need to do is plonk your butt somewhere, get connected and bing-hey-go, all sorts of news come to you. News of death, suicide, birth, pregnancy, marriage, divorce, illness, all that is fit to tell, you can pretty much find it online. And that can be pretty jarring experience.
To date, I haven’t had the ‘luxury’ of receiving all of the above at one sitting, but I have had to find out about friends that way. It’s not necessarily people you don’t see/talk to regularly, sometimes it is people who you see nearly everyday. And it never fails to stun me. The terrible thing about receiving bad news online is that there are a thousand of questions and none of the answers. Yes, you could try, but it takes time and you still can’t see them anyway, can’t see their facial expression and body language. This makes it harder to digest. How am I best to respond? Does my friend needs a hug or just a pat on the back? Should I hold back the tears or cry it out with them?
Based on the response, these are the times when you get to know just what kind of friendship you have with that person. Just a passing acquaintance or BFF? Casual friends or inner circle? But in the end, it doesn’t really matter. When you care, you care. Maybe they’re still processing their own news, maybe they are in denial, maybe they are already over it. No matter. If you care, send some love. Most would appreciate it. If they don’t? That’s not your problem.
Which reminds me, I need to do something for a friend that I find out via Facebook. Hope she likes it.