Monday, August 16, 2010

Who will mourn me now?

11 years ago I packed up all my worldly possessions and drove them across the state of Georgia to reside with my husband. Wasn't much, it all fit in a Dodge Shadow, but it was mine and I still have most of it. I knew no one in my new town, just my husband and his family. I had no friends, no relatives close to me, no one who knew who I was and I was ok with that. I was ok with that for five years, then my father died. At his wake there were so many people, there were friends and colleagues of my brothers there to show support, there were friends of my sister, there were friends of my mother, and friends of my father but there were no friends for me. There were only two people, in the whole room. who were there just because they knew me. One was my husband and the other my black sister (and really she is a sister to the whole family and I can never repay her for sitting with us at hospice). I realized at that moment that I had no friends. I knew no one where I lived, if I had died at that moment no one in the town I lived in would even notice that I was no longer around. I think this affected me more than my father's death. It showed me how alone I was, and although I really don't like people, I hate being alone. I made the decision, on the long ride home, that I was going to get to know my community. I was going to be involved, not just exist. So I did the one thing I know how to do well, I got on the internet and I talked. A lot! I found a community message board for the county I was in and I talked and chatted and vented and ranted and interacted with people. I met other stay at home moms and went on play dates. I immersed myself into the area and I was so much happier for it! I became someone - people knew me, people recognized me, and people liked me! After a year of being involved, I no longer worried that my death wouldn't be noticed. I knew that if I were to die, people would mourn me.

And now I sit in a new town, with no friends, and I worry that if I were to die tomorrow no one in my town would know who I am or that I was even gone. I remember all I did to meet people before and I don't know if I can do that again. It was easy meeting other moms of pre-schoolers but all my babies are in school. And it was easy chatting away all day on message boards but I've found that I have no patience for the back biting and ignorance that tends to come with them. I know that in a few weeks I'll be comfortable enough with the school to start volunteering and maybe I'll make acquaintances, but probably not friends. I'm not sure I can handle making friends again. I don't know if I want to.


  1. Perhaps it would be better for you to volunteer at a place that is not school-related, in addition to your children's school. This way you can meet a cross section of people.

    It's so very hard to move to a new place and start over. And with the internet you can reach out to the friends you left in your old town. Not the same thing, I know.

    I know someone who says that when she dies there will be $100 for anyone who attends her funeral - payable at the door when they sign in! She's kidding, of course, but one never knows with her.

  2. hi dear..

    couldn't help but comment...

    i have moved around too much to list here, so i understand. but i think those people that are really your friends, with effort on both your parts, will continue to nurture the friendship, despite the distance.

    moreover, friendship is a continuum, in my experience. looking at it as work to make new friends defeats the purpose.

    i know if i lived near you, i would just enjoy having tea with you, talk about writing, books, tea, your children, and hang out as time allows.

    relationships are an investment as you well know and it is really not the best feeling when one invests and has to move. but they are also necessary for growth, for community, for joy, for learning, for sharing.

    and who knows where one is gonna die and when? if i was to make friends based on that, then i should, would never move again! which is not possible.

    the best way to have a friend, is be a friend, and who better to start with than yourself! :) things will fall into place, i am sure. give it time, and quality over quantity.

    lots of hugs.


  3. I'll have coffee with you every morning... although I don't like coffee.
    I'll mourn your death... hell I was in mourning when you were absent from twitter for a few days.
    I'll be your friend who notices...

    Thank you -- You know... you'll have tons of people around you within a month, it's just you, the way you are, I can see that all the way from Nashville.

  4. I <3 you and miss you bunches and bunches and bunches... so no dying for you! I simply won't allow it. ::nope::

    I think you WILL make new friends, whether you want to or not. See, you have a positive impact on people. You smile and it makes others smile. You snort and make others laugh with you. You scream while watching silly movies O_O ... and you threaten to poke people in the eye with a shiny new pen... oh wait... that's me... YOU absolutely rock, and people are simply drawn to you.

    BUT - the new friends you make won't replace the old ones. Just because you moved FOREVER away doesn't mean we went away and no longer exist. Your Georgia friends are still here and if you ever need us, we'll be there in a heartbeat... well, okay, to be perfectly honest, THEY'LL probably be there in a couple of hours. I'll be there in, like, well I guess it depends on how many times I get lost, but I WILL get there. Easiest thing is for nothing to happen so when I visit I can call you every few minutes and ask you where the hell I am. ;D <3

    BIG HUGS!!!

    OH - annnnnnnnnnnnd...

    ::POKE:: :P ::runs away in a fit of giggles::

  5. <3 you guys, I could never forget my friends! I think that's why I don't want new friends because I've had the very best friends and I can't imagine there being anyone else out there who will get me.