Death puts a lot of things in to perspective. You don't worry about the little things. You realise there's a lot of crap you care about that you really shouldn't, and that includes relationships, which also includes, of course, friendships.
Friends have come in and out of my life over the years, as they do with all of us. Some friendships I have consciously ended for whatever reason. There was this one girl I used to be friends with years ago who constantly put me, as well as our mutual friends, down at any given opportunity - often in front of our partners and/or other friends. She did it one time too many with me, and in front of someone I very much cared (still care!) for: Mr A. So I ceased all contact with her. Just like that (*clicks fingers*). I never picked up the phone to call her or return another phone call of hers. Nor have I friended her on Facebook (even though FB has suggested her now and then) and I never will. (There are some people who really shouldn't be in your life.)
I guess I 'ghosted' her. Ghosting is the act of ceasing all contact/communication with someone. You stop returning calls/texts/emails/Facebook messages. In the social media world, you unfollow, block and unfriend. You don't offer explanations, you just cut them out of your life until they get the message.
Ghosting isn't something that I would choose to do lightly. I really do reserve it for the people who don't deserve my contact, like the above mentioned girl.
There was also one guy that Mr A and I mutually ghosted. He completely played us off against one another to find out some information he really wanted to find out (long story)! The way he did it was so manipulative and calculated, Mr A and I felt we just couldn't keep in contact with him after that. He attempted to send an email once, and in that email he absolutely pinpointed the reason why we 'might have ceased contact' with him. That's because he knew. He knew what he'd done.
I've been ghosted before too. The most notable was when my old friend - the one who used to refer to me, my husband and our children as 'family' just stopped all contact one day. It hurt. In all honesty, it still hurts sometimes. Just when I think I'm over it, I start to think about it again. What went wrong? It's just hard to accept how close you can be with someone and then suddenly they shut you out. In the case of the first two friends I mentioned, we were friends, but not 'close' like I was with this friend. It was the question 'Why?' that haunted me for so long after my friend ceased contact. At least, if she'd offered an explanation - as much as it may have hurt or as much as I may have disagreed with it - at least I'd know. You know? I've had to accept, over time, that I will probably never know the reason behind her decision. I'd happily welcome an explanation from her, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for it either.
Everyone experiences ghosting. In fact, I can't give you one person's name who hasn't, and it's important to realise that if you're ghosted, there's probably some reason behind it. It's never for no reason at all. But sometimes it's not even about you, it's about them. I have to admit, I've often wondered if my old friend was going through something she didn't want me to know about? Who knows. Certainly, I've known of people who have ended up ghosting someone because their partner didn't like them. Whatever the reason though - as silly and/or minor you may think it is - it still happens for a reason. Not knowing why is hard - but it is what it is.
The truth is that life is filled with uncertainty, but what my parents' deaths have shown me is that I have to celebrate those who choose to be in my life, and that I choose to have in my life. In the Sydney storms we had about a month ago, it was nice that so many people contacted me to check we were okay here on the northern beaches. (We were, we are.) Real friends care. (And they don't ignore you when a parent dies either.)
It's really nice to know there are still so many people who care and are very much still a big part of my life. It's better to have people in your life who actually want to be in it anyway. Right?