Sometimes we lose track of people we once cared for. Sometimes it’s for a very long time. We lived together back in the mid seventies for over a year and thought we were in love. I guess we probably were. We left Iowa together to search for new adventure in the Big City of Minneapolis and found it. Unfortunately, her adventure wanted to be with someone else so I picked up the pieces and moved on. It took a while to get over her, but I had friends that could boost my ego and keep me occupied so I wouldn’t stumble down into the hole of loneliness. I was lucky that way. I would see Linda from time to time. She was honing her interior design skills and dancing as she had always done. We would run into each other and it was always friendly and warm. It was good to see both of us smile together. She met someone who was the love of her life and quite a bit younger. Heck, she was three years older than me, but it was no big deal once you’re past your teens. I think they got married eventually and so did I before leaving the city behind after about an eight year run.
I thought about her now and then, but never had the time to look her up and see how she was doing. I tried the social media when I might remember, but only a few times over the years. I remembered again today when something triggered a thought to make me try a quick search, but this time I thought I might look up her parents. I found her father’s obituary. I had remembered him from some amazing cribbage games we had played. He had been a champion cribbage player around the Mason City area and was a formidable opponent. I figured his obit might mention his daughter. It did, right after the words ”preceded in death by”. She died on her birthday in 1992 at the age of 44. I was shocked and saddened, but it explained why I could find no trace of her the past couple of decades. I found a picture of her grave when trying to find out more. All I could imagine was suicide which saddened me even more. I could find no more information and don’t know any of her friends anymore. Too much time had passed to even find an obituary. I don’t know where and how she died, only where she was laid to rest. The only thing I know for sure is that she is no longer here.
Surprised by the pain it gives I only hope that time will make it go away. We were in love for a while and I had even asked her to marry me. She had said yes, but that changed as our relationship faded. This is the part of aging that I find the most painful. The physical deterioration is annoying, but the loss of friends and lovers is much harder to take. I am pretty good at hiding my feelings from others, but not myself. Sometimes I just need to scream.