A bit of a macabre post today. Sorry but maybe it will prompt somebody out there, so worth saying. I never gave this a thought until a reached a fairly ripe age (I sound like a well-matured Stilton cheese) but Christmas, and sitting all afternoon with friend M chatting about this very thing made me think it might be a good idea to write about it.
Over the years both M and I have moved around a bit. M is a Londoner moved North on retirement. I am a Lincolnshire lass moved around in Lincolnshire, then to Lichfield in Staffordshire for a few years, then to Wolverhampton in the West Midlands for seventeen years and finally to the Dales in North Yorkshire for almost the last thirty years (the longest I have lived anywhere by a long way). Along the way I have made many friends. My first husband and I played early musical instruments and performed in various early music groups - lots of friends there; we both taught - lots of friends there; lots of neighbours too.
How do we keep in touch? Well, mainly through Christmas and Birthday cards - often with a letter inside. And how I enjoy receiving them all and sitting after Christmas and reading through
them all again. And how they bring back lovely memories.
But, as M and I were saying this afternoon, each year several cards no long appear. You send a card but you don't receive one back. That is when the speculation begins. Has the friend become ill, or moved away, or gone into care (remember we are all getting on a bit) - or perish the thought - have they died? We shall never know.
I have about a dozen people I have lost contact with over the last couple of years or so. We have been exchanging cards and letters at Christmas for years and suddenly - no more.
So here is a suggestion. All of these people will have left some kind of address book and my name (amongst many others probably) will be in it. Is it too much to ask that whoever is clearing up their affairs could just send a card explaining why communication has stopped? It would make such a different to many happy memories to have an ending rather than a sudden cut-off.
Am I being unreasonable to ask such a thing?