I’ve found someone’s father for them, with almost no information to start with. I’ve discovered birth certificates that never existed, marriages that supposedly never happened and a pile of family secrets. I’ve done family research that led me down very interesting paths. Some searches led me into multiple roads that all ultimately led nowhere – but it was still worthwhile to do walk down them and research along the way, as I continue to learn how interconnected so many of us really are.
Recently, I offered to help someone find a long-lost friend, someone once dear to them. The ‘missing’ person had suffered mental health issues and went from best friend to simply vanished. The person I was helping had spend years off and on thinking about her lost best friend. The lure and pull of a possible reconnection was too tempting to pass up.
Even though I didn’t have a lot of information, I knew that if I persisted long enough and used all the possible leads that I found that I would find the missing friend. After a few days and only a very few emails, I heard back from an ex-husband; the missing best friend had died a few years ago in California.
While it bothered me to have to tell my friend who had spent years thinking about her long-lost best friend, for some reason the unhappy ending opened up a great dissatisfaction within me. Not from the discovery of the woman’s untimely passing, but from the wasted “could have been” of the lost friendship. For whatever reason, I connected with the idea of “loss.” How strange it must be to mourn a friend years after the fact.
There’s a lesson in here somewhere but I don’t mind that I’m not sure what it is.