When something tragic happens, everyone seems to know about it. You expect your core and extended people to know your story. I often forget how far-reaching bad news can be. How, in the age of social media and the internet it doesn’t take long for news to spread. It spreads far beyond what we even realize.
I live 15 minutes from where Tony and I went to high school. There are a lot of people we went to school with who live in my area, and I have often referred to it as HighSchool2.0.
There I was on Saturday night, singing karaoke (yes, I sang Shoop again) at a local watering hole. A friend was talking to someone I didn’t know. It turns out she is the older sister of someone I graduated high school with, and I believe she was in Tony’s graduating class. However, I had never met her before, and he wasn’t friends with her either.
I introduced myself as Emily. That’s it – no last name, no backstory, just my first name.
I watched this woman’s face change as the recognition hit her. She put her hand to her mouth, gave a small gasp and gave me the look. You know the one. Then she gave me a quick hug.
Ugh, I hate that. I don’t want to be recognized because I tragically lost Tony to suicide. I am so much more than losing him and he is so much more than his death.
To her credit, she did not dwell on it. After she hugged me, she moved the conversation in a different direction. She didn’t ask for inappropriate details about our marriage or his death. The interaction didn’t ruin my evening, but it was a reminder that I am different now.