How news of Mom’s death spread

before you post another RIP on social media

Trudy.Green_dress This Groundhog Day I get to relive the day my mom died in 2011. I stayed in her room overnight on 1 February, and she died early the next morning. My sisters were already on their way back to the hospital. I suppose I could have called them on their cellphones, but I didn’t see the point. They walked into the room less than five minutes after she died and I got to tell them the news.

As I’ve noted, there was a certain symmetry to this. My sisters were present when my father died in 2000. My mom and I were in route to the hospital. I signed some legal document at the wrongful death lawyer office, as the correspondent of her death, as I was for my father – the joy of being the oldest. The hospital contacted the funeral home, and eventually we went home, shortly after noon.

As it turned out, I had written a blog post, a few days earlier, about my mom’s stroke and me taking the train to Charlotte. Eventually, I checked my email. Denise Nesbitt, the doyenne of ABC Wednesday asked how my mom was. I told her that Mom had died.

She must have shared the news somewhere. Within 15 minutes, I started getting comments that switched from hoping my mom was getting better to condolences regarding her loss. I suppose it’s bizarre to note it’s the post for which I received the greatest number of comments.

Facebook

I was reminded of this article, Please read this before you post another RIP on social media. The piece doesn’t apply to my situation, but it was nevertheless instructive.

In fact, my grief was documented in several posts that month. My sisters and I have to write an obituary? Post it on the blog. We have to come up with the program? More blog fodder. I still remember someone referred to me as “dispassionate” because I was doing one post in my Joe Friday mode. “Just the facts.” It was/is my coping mechanism.

I’ve been dealing with death for a long time, it seems. My father’s mom Agatha died when I was nine; she lived upstairs from us. My mom’s maternal aunt Deana passed when I was 11; I saw her almost daily. Agatha taught me canasta, which I taught to Deana. I was very fond of both of them.

Groundhog Day is the day I relive when my mom died. I think about how I’m now an Orphaned Adult, a book I recommend, BTW.

Connective tissue on Groundhog Day

This is Smalbany, so SURELY they would have met each other by now.

On February 2, my friend Mark, who I’ve known since 1971, when I met him in at college, wrote: “I was at a concert recently and met a woman named Judy. She has friend-requested me [on Facebook], saying she knows Roger Green. I think you’ve mentioned her over the years.”

And evidently, I mentioned him to Judy, who I’ve only known since 1977, when I met her in that same college town. Judy’s also met other friends of mine, somehow, and realized they both knew me.

That evening, I went to First Friday at my church. The singer, Carla, who sang beautifully, BTW, has known a woman I’ve known through the library foundation for years. My activist friends Lynne and Dan were there, who I’ve known since the early 1980s. So was my activist friend Darby, who I’ve known since the late 1980s.

This is Smalbany, so SURELY they would have met each other by now. They knew other people in common besides me. But no, they had never crossed paths. So I introduced them.

And because it’s been on my mind a LOT lately, we discussed genealogy. Darby, Dan, and I all have misidentified ancestors in our family trees. As I’ve noted, mine involves my father’s biological father.

My second cousin Lisa called me that day. We’re working on a project that I’ll describe soon. She’s been doing genealogy of her family for years, and of course, there is some crossover.

To that end, she’s pretty much ordered me to do one of those DNA tests that Ancestry and others sell. Lisa had done hers and it pretty much disproved a family myth in her lines. But maybe some of the other lines in my past will tell a different story.

I related much of this to my wife just before we went to bed. She said, “You have an interesting life.” I guess I do.