Yesterday I received an email of what was to be showing up in my mailbox later on. I do like that the post office will take pics of what is being delivered on any given day. Some days, I look to see what to expect and some days, I just let it arrive and get my surprise when I open the mailbox.
When I opened my email showing today’s mail, it had a card showing it was addressed to Sal & Ted Fill. I was in the middle of something else when I had checked the email, so I didn’t spend too much brain power on who would still include Ted on the address block of an email. I briefly considered that it was just someone who hadn’t updated their address file and this was a likely in their computer generated printouts or maybe it was deliberate so as to let me know that while they knew Ted has passed, they wanted to include him onto the recipient portion of the envelope to let me know that the card enclosed was still inclusive of their thoughts for the both of us.
My day was full, and included me going out to meet my old work group team for dinner and Christmas Cheer, so it wasn’t until I got back home, fed the pets, and began the walk up the drive to the mailbox that I even remembered what was expected to be there. One third up the drive, it occurred to me that it was likely a Christmas Card from an old pal of mine (from the later 1980’s) who our main points of contact – for the past maybe 15 years or so – has been through Christmas cards. I hadn’t gotten a Christmas card to him and his family last year. Well, no one got a Christmas card last year, so heck and darn, he doesn’t know that Ted is no longer here.
Here’s the thing with communicating with people about someone’s death, the longer everyone in the conversation has had to process it, the easier it is to talk about. Conversely, when you have to tell someone who doesn’t know, it brings up emotions like it has all of a sudden just happened yesterday once more. It is like some emotional revolving door that takes you back to the starting point and you don’t exit again until you have once more made a full revolution back to the beginning and then stayed in there just a little longer until you can again exit once more.
I considered writing a note and putting it into a card back to them, but knowing myself and that if I left the reply to being a project, it was likely to be put off and possibly buried in the pile of correspondence to be done. (if you have sent me anything in this past year and not received a written thank-you, you can be assured that you are in that pile). So, I looked up his email and wrote a reply before I could think too long and hard on what was the proper thing to say. For me, the longer I ponder on the words, the less likely they are to make it onto any platform. (- I have a fairly long list of drafts of posts that have never seen the light of day because the longer they sit, the more I pick them apart and feel like they are the drivel that my mind will convince me of.)
So last night, I went back through that revolving door, crying as I had to tell someone once more that Ted is gone and try to summarize where I am now. That door does seem to rotate quicker than it once did, so I am thankful for that. I am also hopeful that with an email instead of a mailed card, we can communicate on a more accelerated manner and therefore catch up more quickly.
It is still those little things that seem to creep up and bite you when you aren’t looking, but I’m glad to hear from my friend and glad that I can reply.