I consider myself a middle of the road techie; I understand some of the current trends but lack technological skill with some of it. I have an iPhone, use Twitter, manage a blog and I have a personal and professional Facebook page. On the other hand, I can’t seem to synch my husband’s calendar onto my phone, or figure out the concept of the “cloud.”
You probably won’t be surprised then to hear that I still have an old-fashioned address book, the 3-ring binder style that was so popular 15 years ago when I purchased it. You can trace my history of friends and family members by those who have been crossed out and whose addresses have been updated multiple times.
My first New Year’s goal was to get rid of the paper trail, getting my family and friend’s addresses and phone numbers into my phone’s contact list. What seems a mundane task proves another grief session, a journey back in time as I read the names on the pages.
Time changes everything and there is evidence in my address book. There are names of those who are no longer here on Earth, whose passing creates a void in my contacts’ list.
There are many others whose names I don’t even recognize anymore and I realize our connection was weak and therefore short-term.
Grief comes when I see the names of those who meant so much at one time but whose names I will not transfer into my phone. We have lost track, gone our separate ways after my husband’s death altered our relationship.
I think grief has robbed me of many of the people in my address book. Maybe it was my grief that was too intense for them to bear as they processed their own. Or was it me that pulled away as I created a new life for myself?
The reality is that nothing remains the same after a loss and this address book is a stark reminder of that. People come, people go and our relationships with them ebb and flow throughout a lifetime. Grief is a deal changer, an altered state for all relationships.
Subsequent losses occur when a loved one dies – that is why I find myself re-grieving as I turn the pages and transfer names into my phone.
Did you start the journey with me and have your name in my phone when my husband died or did you start the journey but got sidetracked by the grief? Is your name still in my phone book? If so, I thank you for going through the trenches with me and I am grateful that your name transferred over into my iPhone contact’s list. The old, paper one is gone! Life like technology continues to change.