I found out that a close friend of mine, whom I had lost touch with over the years, died recently. Facebook told me. I did not want Facebook to inform me of such a thing. I would rather a person have done so. That someone somewhere would have known upon my friend's death to call me and let me know. To make sure that I appeared at the memorial. But I guess that is a lot to ask when you last spoke to your "close" friend over six years ago.
So Facebook had to break the news to me. Unlike a grieving friend or family member, Facebook does not ease you into such things. It just blindsides you. There are you happily searching to see if your friend is on Facebook so you can quickly and secretly find out what he has been up to without going through the song and dance of "why didn't you call me in the past 6 years" when you are slapped in the face with this in the search results:
Remember [your close friend's name here]
A group to remember someone with your friend's name. Remember seems to imply "gone." And that sounds awfully ominous, but you think it is no big deal because prior searches have shown that there are hundreds of people that share the same name as your friend. Surely it is someone else's friend you think. Then you read the profile and see that this person is also a father and an artist and you know, it is your friend. You look through the people in the group and they are all from your area. Finally, you find a picture.
It is him. Your friend that is a father. Your friend that is a respected artist.
Your friend that is dead.
Goodbye, Kevin. I wish I had been a better friend.