i’m not unique and i’m not exactly jumping over the moon. yay. 3 cheers. i have an iphone. and upon receipt of my latest gadget/upgrade, i proceeded to complete what i should have completed weeks ago…transfer all my contacts to my laptop. i didn’t upgrade from one smart phone to another but from a rather dull (yet trusty) phone to a smart one. the dull phone had no simple way of exporting contacts to my laptop. thankfully the process wasn’t 1/2 as tedious as i thought i’d be. a quick cut and paste to excel from my online list and a .csv file-save made the switch pretty painless. except for two moments…when i deleted two names from my list. and not because i don’t like them (i actually loved them both). i deleted them because both men are dead.
one has been dead a year and a half already. the second is just going on ten months. and every time i’ve scrolled passed their names on route to another, i’ve asked, “what are you holding on to?”
right after each one died, the mere thought of deleting their names felt disrespectful. never before has a cell phone contact died, you know what i mean? i don’t even know what pre cell phone equivalent to compare that with. when Joshua died, i wanted to make sure i didn’t somehow forget him. i also have his parent’s number. i called them to verify the facebook post…that’s how we find out about death these days.
and then there’s Matthew. (sidenote: i’m not trying to be formal; i don’t typically shorten ppl’s names.) it took me a long time to even delete the last text message i’d sent him. “are you alive?” no reply. hours later i heard the news. car crash. i hold on to stupid reminders of him. a cup of coins and receipts he left. a little plastic bottle from a tribute at his funeral.
pressing delete was letting go, living in the reality that they’re not coming back, that there are other ways to remember.
my Aunt G died the day before Matthew. she was 90-something. her husband’s still alive. i still have him listed in my phone as “the Gordons.” i didn’t know how to edit that today. all i could think of was, “i don’t want to take off the s.”
these are uncharted waters.