Do you have any on your phone? The last text or DM with someone who has since passed away?
This one is to my friend Tom. We had dinner plans and I was texting him to chat about changing the day. But he was already in hospital. And died a few days later.
I met my friend Jeannine at work. She was an open hearted, unpretentious sunbeam of a human. One of my few colleagues over the years who became a friend outside of work.
In 2019, about six months after a major cycling accident, I held a thank you dinner party to show my gratitude to everyone who had helped me out. Jeannine was there with her husband. I painted runes onto rocks and gave one to each person as a token of my appreciation. Shortly before Jeannine died, she sent me this text…
My friend Donna was also at my thank you party. Her and Jeannine recognized each other from being in the same breast cancer support group. Ten months after Jeannine died, Donna took MAID (medical assistance in dying). We texted almost every day for the last couple weeks of her life.
The digital expiry monster eats all these messages eventually. After my Dad died I found an email from him in an account I’d used for signing up for sketchy online services. I’d used it to send him an e-card. He’d replied to the card.
So there it was, years after he was gone and I had an unread email from him! He’d sent it the year he died. His emails got shorter during those last few months and he wrote all lower case. No energy to capitalize anymore.
I can’t find that email now. The account no longer exists and if I forwarded it to another account, I think it’s been archived because no search can surface it.
But I remember the feeling of seeing that unread email from him. It was one precious sentence, thanking me for the card.
…love, Dad xo
As if he wrote it that morning.