Last month one of my former coworkers died on the way in to work; here one minute and gone the next. I don’t have any details – the service was in Oceanside, three hundred miles and a lifetime away now, it seems, if I’m being declaratively dramatic. He still has a Facebook account, though, and it has dutifully reminded me that his birthday is coming up which I don’t quite know how to react to except by the way I always react to such birthday reminders, namely that I don’t, except for family (and even then only a few family people). Next year the same day will roll around and assuming he had good password security the account will remain active and he’ll show up as having another birthday to miss next year too.
He doesn’t necessarily stop having birthdays, I guess, no more than any other day gets taken off the calendar just because we now say it isn’t so. Let’s skip that day. Nope. I have several further complaints with Mondays in general so … Nope. I remind myself of the mantra we’ve learned from preschool: you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.
Presence is defined by how often you’re in mind, and having a yearly reminder of someone and their life is pretty awesome presence, I think.