About Face

I was all set to write a ridiculously upbeat post about how excited I am about our upcoming wedding, rambling on about all the little details that are coming together and confessing my complete and utter surrender to being one of those overly giddy and completely wedding obsessed brides to be.

But I’m just not feelin’ it the last few days.

Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, I found out that mid-last-week someone I went to High School with passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly.

Before Facebook, I had kept in contact with absolutely zero people from High School.

While the sting has mostly subsided, High School wasn’t a particularly pleasant time for me. I fell somewhere in the middle of the social spectrum, being fairly relentlessly picked on by a certain group of people, and in turn doing my fair share of picking on another group of people. And of course there were people I was friendly with, and people I just didn’t really interact with at all.

Justin fell somewhere between the latter three groups.

We were in homeroom together for the entire 5 years of High School. We both worked at the local McDonald’s for about 3 years. As far as I recall we never had any type of deep or meaningful conversations, but were always pretty friendly. With one notable exception: he was a persistent, insufferable, unapologetic flirt. And I would continually shut him down mercilessly. There wasn’t any actual hostility in it – it just felt good (as any teenager can testify) to try evening out the social playing-field. Someone laid the social smackdown on me earlier, I took it out on someone else.

Anyhow. Facebook came along, and within the past 4 or 5 months I’ve friended or been friended by probably a good 30% of my graduating class. Justin was one of them. Looking back through my archives, we exchanged about 3 “how’s life” wall posts. I figured I’d see him at the 10-year reunion (coming up this summer), we’d chat briefly, all move on with our lives much the same as we all were before.

Then (and this is now from 3rd and 4th-hand accounts) sometime last week he stopped showing up for work. Nobody could get in touch with him. This wasn’t like him, so his parents eventually had the police go to his place and check on him. He’d had an anneurysm and died.

And, strange as it seems, I’m really bummed about it.

Bummed that he was a good person, a really nice guy, and I hadn’t been nicer to him. Bummed that sometimes shitty things happen, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

I feel really badly for his friends and family and the tough time they’re going through right now.

And I feel completely weirded out that had it not been for Facebook, I’d just have no idea at all that this had happened.

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4 thoughts on “About Face

  1. Crissy

    The exact same thing happened to me recently – what an odd coincidence. A guy I went to high school (who always had a mad crush on me), who I had gotten in touch with via Facebook a couple of months ago, also recently died. It was a sad, tragic on-the-job death and he left behind a wife and three small kiddies. I too was very sad to hear about this, even though we had only chatted a few times since high school …

    So I guess I can honestly say I know what you’re going through. Hang in there, kiddo.

  2. Maktaaq

    I found out my best friend from grade 3 and 4 passed away three years ago, after contacting her sister on Facebook. I kept meaning to get back in touch for years but never did. Rather sad I didn’t now.

    Your poor friend…

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