Earlier today I was chatting with my friend Tony. His BF was recently diagnosed with HIV and he is having a really tough time getting through it. Tony was asking me how I got through it and what suggestions I might have. I told him that when I found out, I had already done AIDS lifecycle and I had a large group of amazing POZ friends already. I told him that one of those friends, Mok, lived down the street from me. He and I would bike, hang out, have dinners. Any time I was feeling down about it, Mok was there to lend a shoulder and to make me feel better.
But that got me thinking, where is Mok today? He doesn’t do social media and we haven’t spoken in years. We sort of lost touch after a while. So where is he? How would I even go about finding him. The only thing I know about him is his first name, phone number and email address. I googled both and no hits on them. I don’t even have a last name for him.
What if he’s dead? I will probably never know anything about him again. I never got to say goodbye, I never got to go to his funeral or send flowers to his family. At the point in my life where we had met and crossed paths, he was so influential to me, so important, so helpful.
IT got me thinking, what if I were to die tomorrow? How would the people that I care about even find out. Now that I am no longer on any social media platforms, who would notify those people?
This past weekend in small town america, you saw the notices. BIG YELLOW pages printed out with a picture of the person, the date and time of the memorial, where to send flowers or cards. Posted in nearly every store front. At noon every day the local radio and tv station plays a list of all the births and deaths in the area. The local women’s groups gossip about “did you hear who died?”. Even if they had moved away many years ago, all because they still have those roots there.
But in todays digital world, all my “friends” are mostly remote, digital. I talk to them daily via text or face time. When I die, will they even know? I talk to Tony every day, but I haven’t seen him in ages. Would my family or parents know to contact him. Who would they contact?
With my will, there is a list of a handful of passwords. Those will gain access to my life. But will my parents or family know what to do with them? Will they have the mental capacity at the time of my death to say “We need to contact people”. Will my friends even call if they don’t hear from me for a few days?
I talked to Tony about these topic, he relayed a story of one of his friends who died while back country skiing. His family didn’t realize for weeks that he was missing. WEEKS! Are we really that disconnected in this day in age of “connectedness?”
After I die, will my blog continue to live?