There have been a few tragedies close to home lately. Not people I've known personally, but people within a close degree of separation. As I tried to gather information, I often used Facebook to follow the story and updates. As I scrolled back on their loved one's pages, something similar struck me about each page. If you scroll back far enough, just past the very first post that trembles the details into the world wide web, you'll come across the most normal, inauspicious, innocuous posts. Posts like "Can't figure out what to make for dinner." Or a viral video of someone doing something funny or embarrassing. Or a picture of their kids in the car. Or a question for friends like "anyone have a tent I can borrow?"
Life is normal, and then it isn't. The following posts are filled with love and fear and medical jargon and tears. Sometimes there are long bouts of silence filled by close friends and family. A semi-permanent record of when life was plodding along and then tragically interrupted.
If one had the time and the desire, it would be interesting to read through all those difficult posts and see how those bits of normal eventually make their way back into a person's thoughts and Facebook page. For the reality is that life goes on for those left behind, or it goes on in a new way for someone forever physically altered by an accident. But while the tragedy never disappears the deep pain of it starts to fade - the gift of time, I suppose. And perhaps inadvertently at first, those little bits of every day life start to emerge once more.