By Diane Ako
I got a big shock last week while internet surfing. I was researching a blog I was writing (not yet published) and I came across the fact that an old friend died - in January! Nobody told me! My gosh. Has this ever happened to you?
His name was Samm Conn (and yes, he spelled Samm with two m's) and I worked with him at KOBR in New Mexico. We stayed friends even though I moved away, and remained friends all these years.
(Yes, I know, I know, I look really different.)
I think the last time I talked to him was sometime last year, because I remember us discussing my daughter. However, he continued to send cards every holiday season, although he was pagan.
Samm was quite a character (as you may have picked up even in these short paragraphs) and when the Wikipedia article came up that he had died, I didn't believe it. I thought maybe it was his prank.
I went on Facebook to search for him and his page came up, still current. I thought, See, he's not dead. We really only have one friend in common left over from my Roswell days, so I send her a message to get the details, and am still waiting.
I looked again and more links from New Mexico newspapers talked about his death, so I realized it must be true, and that his family or his partner just hadn't deactivated his Facebook account. It is kind of weird to think I could still ask him to be my friend.
By chance, a recent newspaper article talks about dead Facebook friends. Should I write to Facebook to alert a staffer to Samm's page? Is that for his family and closer friends to do?
In the meantime, I don't even know why Samm died, except for "a lengthy illness." His death sat on my mind for several days.
I didn't really know him all that well anymore- the particulars of his life, who he saw, what he did - but I knew him well enough to know the essence of his character, and to have a thin photo album in my head of memories of things we did together. I'm grateful for that moment in our lives where we intersected in the Land of Enchantment.
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