Often times when someone passes we think back on the last interaction we had with that person. Was it positive? Did we say how much we cared about them? Were we present in the connection that day or distracted?
And then there is the whole Facebook and social media debate. It is that level of connection that is there and yet detached. If used with ill intent it can allow someone to be harsh or bully without feeling as culpable, as many critics point out. It gives a false sense of connection because of all the "friends" and "likes" we build.
While I cannot argue either of these points I see the beauty in this connection too. If it were not for this lower level of connection I would not be able to keep in touch with family members such as my mom's cousins or even my husband's cousins. I would not be able to see their joys as a child graduates or their struggle as they go through life's bumps. I would not be able to reach out and offer comfort in this smallest way.
The thought of having three hundred friends and family in close connection that I call monthly or even yearly to connect seems overwhelming. Sometimes I drop the ball on even the thirty or so that I am closest. And without my calendar alerts or Facebook alerts I probably would not always remember the birthdays of even those closest to me; some days I can't even keep track of the day of the week.
It is heartbreaking to lose someone. And it hits the heart to lose someone even when we were not close to them. Even the loss of my best friend's grandmother had me reflecting on why I hadn't taken my daughter over more to visit her and bring her a smile. And to some extent it is a reminder of our priorities. Maybe it is a reminder to reevaluate. But it is also not feasible to have a deep connection with everyone we have met throughout the years.
I'm grateful for the deep connections I have with my close family and friends. I'm grateful to do what I can to be there for them through thick and thin. I'm grateful to feel the same love and connection reflected to me. I'm grateful for Facebook and other social media that allows me to have a different level of connection with a wider base of family, friends, and acquaintances. I'm grateful to be able to wish them happy birthday or send love and prayers or congratulations as I have this level of connection. I'm grateful to recognize the wound it leaves on me when a good person leaves this world. And I'm grateful that not every person I have met over the years has maintained the connection to contribute to this type of wound so that my sensitivity can be held deeper for those who are my deepest connections.
What level of connections do you prefer for your family, friends, and acquaintances? How do you choose to keep in contact with the people you meet versus the people who have made a deeper impact on your life?
May today remind us the beauty of even the smallest of connections. May we consciously choose the level of connection we want to hold with each person we meet. And may we find peace in our hearts for those lost, Have a beautiful day!