Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wake Up Little Suzy

I have found social networking sites to be helpful in so many situations but unnerving when death comes calling. I learned of my nephew's death when his sister posted in shock on her myspace. It was eerie to read his earlier posts knowing he had written them and his friends had responded not knowing they would not see each other again. Then to read the 'wall' posts as those same friends became aware of his passing and grieved publicly on the platform of myspace.

This week, I learned of the passing of a family friend, Sue (Eisele) May. Though we weren't best buds, we were classmates, friends, neighbors - it wasn't until she was in the hospital birthing her first baby that I learned from the OB nurse that her name wasn't even Sue, and I learned that only because they didn't have anyone there named Sue. Turned out her name was Carol. Her dad told me that he used to sing "Wake Up Little Suzy" to her when she was a baby and the name stuck. She was the niece of Mark's best friend. We were neighbors when we both rented from her parents in Santa Cruz. She moved (along with a whole caravan of us from Santa Cruz including her parents) to Nevada and wound up as our school secretary. Again, I remember asking one day when I was at school where Sue had run off to and they said, "Sue? You mean Carol?" Guess it never really worked for her because we met up again on FACEBOOK and, once again, she was Sue.

I knew she had a cancer diagnosis and would periodically fall silent on the chatter of FB then I'd spot a posting where "Sue May has become a fan of ....." and I knew she must been feeling a little better.

This week we learned from her Uncle that she lost her battle with cancer. Yet there she is on Facebook ... smiling in a photo with her husband, looking so good and deceptively healthy. I see photos of her. Comments she made. But on her "wall", the comments come in from friends who are finding out she is gone. Facebook, as Facebook is wont to do, beckons me from the right margin to "say hello to Sue". Hey Facebook...I'd love to BUT I CAN'T! Scrolling down her page, her comments remain to remind us of her so I suppose it's all good. It's like she's still out there. We talk to her as though she has computer access wherever she is and reads how much she is missed.

Hopefully she's feeling better, laughing with her dad, Don Eisele, and brother Eric, both of who went before her in the last couple years. Maybe there will be a heavenly social network that will allow her to "friend me" and be in touch again someday.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I teared up at this. I have yet to have my own Sue but you showed me how it will be...Please let it be a long time from now.

Anonymous said...

What a great post Debbie! I too have had experiences where I have learned about family emergencies, and even the death of friends from Facebook. My friend Milton dies a few months back and Facebook was instrumental in people expressing grief. I always knew that he was loved by many, but it wasn't until I saw the posts that came in for weeks after that reminded me what a good friend I had. His parents too found solace in the outpour of love and emotion that poured decorated his "wall". While social networking sites can be tiresome for some, and some people say, "who cares about the minute by minute details of your life", it was the memories stored on Facebook that people were able to comment about, relive again together, and finally say goodbye.

My condolences on your loss and I hope that in this age of cyber-connections and impersonal interactions you can still remember your friend for the time you were able to spend together, in person.

Jendocino said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, though. Doing so made me think, too, and I appreciate that.