An interesting thing happened to me about 2 3/4 years ago.
I've been on Twitter for a long time...probably since it started. I didn't really see the point of it, trying to write various "life's moments" in 140 characters. (That's pretty hard for a chatterbox like me.)
Anyhow, at that time, several of my friends joined, and its popularity grew so that I began to look at it again. I noticed that I had followers that I'd never heard of -- people I'd never met, but who probably felt some kinship to me based on something in my profile or something that I'd tweeted once upon a time.
One particular follower was someone named "AshPEAmama."
I had several other "mommy" types" following me so I didn't think anything of it...I thought that I must know her from somewhere, and she seemed a funny, friendly person so I decided to keep her on my list.
Then one day I decided to look at her page to read her latest tweets.
This is what met my eyes:
Ashleys funeral is going to be on Saturday
Wed Jan 09 2008 18:58:01 (Eastern Standard Time) via web
That came just a little over a day after this tweet:
@DisguisedPoser yes of course! it's a beautimous purple and gold day here in Baton Rouge.
I was shocked. Stunned. Saddened.
What had happened? I had just started to follow her...to read about her sweet little family...and her "love affair" with what I guessed was her former alma mater.
I sent a message asking what happened, knowing that I probably wouldn't be answered. The suddenness of it all made me know that.
I kept her in my list. Not as a sign of morbidity, but as a way to remember. A reminder that "life is fragile; handle with care."
Tonight, I saw her name in my list of followers again.
Two and a half years later.
Somehow, I just couldn't bring myself to "unfollow" or "block" her.
I began to read through her tweets, hoping for some kind of answer to settle the pang of not knowing "why" in my heart.
I read through her trials and tribulations of being a mom of a "sproglet" and a "sequel," as she called her son and daughter. I looked at photos of her beautiful family and realized that she was married to a Brit just like me. It was like I was getting to know her; and yet I knew I couldn't...and that further saddened me.
Then I discovered this link. A post from a follower, written in tribute to her newborn daughter. I'm sure this man never would have realized what he'd really typed...just a bit more than two months before Ashley's death.
And written in the comments was the answer to my sad not-knowing:
"Ashley was the victim of an automobile accident."
Read the prose from this man.
Read the comments from the friends.
It will move you and remind you to remember how sometimes our worlds intersect...and "no man is an island."
It's okay to cry for someone's sadness, even when you've never met them...and never will in this lifetime.