Sunday 15 August 2010

You can live forever on Facebook

Some of us are destined to live to a ripe old age, where as others are good.

The Boys Mum was the sort of person that burned the candle at both ends ...and in the middle too. So in 42 years managed to cram in more than most people twice her age.

When I was at school, in the fourth year a 'new boy' joined. We got on quite well, but thirty years down the road the details are hazy. I do remember we sat next to each other in geography...I think we were quite competitive on that subject.

Inevitably, once we left school we lost touch and once upon a time that would have been it. Friendships come and go, and like most men we were quite careless with ours. I dropped out of contact with just about all my school friends until about ten years ago. Friendsreunited did what it said on the tin...and some of us from the boarding house met up again. It was a strange experience sitting round a table with a bunch of middle-aged men who had little in common anymore. As usual our initial meetings were slightly awkward as some had been remarkably successful, others had followed a path of career mediocrity. But after a while old friendships were properly renewed, and we've met regularly since.

With other friends, their paths had taken them away to foreign places. Facebook provided a way to renew acquaintances even though this would never be quite the same as a chat over a beer. Ian was one such friend, and as with many Facebook friends, we kept vaguely in touch. Earlier this year, the dreaded word 'chemotherapy' was mentioned and then little more, apart from a few Farmville postings.

In early August, Ian's brother posted a note to say that Ian was no 'longer with us' but that his Facebook page would stay as a tribute to "a wonderful person, father, husband, son and brother".

It's a strange and difficult concept for me to grasp that someone of my age dies, but such are the twists and turns of fate. And as another friend said, it makes you appreciate your own good health.

I didn't know too much about Ian's life...but I hope he managed to live it to the full in experience if not in years.