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In Facebook No One Dies

Facebook on Scrabble

The name popped on the Facebook notice, it was Richard Palmer’s birthday. Did I want to send him a greeting? Sure. I’d love to send a greeting to Richard but how to do that? Does Facebook deliver messages to Heaven?


The longer you live the more you are faced with the loss of people who are close to you. Seems like every other day some rock musician or actor is transitioning from this planet. Close friends and relatives take their leave, sometimes without even a fare thee well. Don’t despair! If you’ve friended them on Facebook, they are still with you. In Facebook, no one dies.


Every now and then I review my address books on my email accounts. At times the list of names gets overbearing and I say to myself, why haven’t I purged these lists? Still, each time I scroll across a name of a much missed friend, a beloved relative, a former co-worker, I can’t seem to hit that delete button.


I’m not sure but I think there must be a way to delete dead friends from Facebook. Maybe you just don’t follow them anymore. Well, I’m really not interested in actually following them. At least not to wherever they have traveled! So, invariably, almost every month a notice pops up. It is someone’s birthday, the message reads. Do you want to send them a greeting?


I haven’t ever sent a greeting to a departed Facebook friend. What would happen? Would it get delivered? And if so, where?


My imagination blossoms. Is it possible to communicate with our dear departed friends through the medium of Facebook? Think of it! Think of the questions we could ask.


“Happy Birthday Richard! What’s it like up there? Do they have a newspaper? Are you the editor?”

I remember Richard Palmer. He was once one of the editors of the defunct Sun Bulletin newspaper in Morro Bay, California. He regularly used my nature photographs in the paper. Then one day I wrote a little piece and sent it along with the photo. “Why didn’t you tell me you could write?” he bellowed at me in a phone call. “Well, gee, Richard, you didn’t ask.” From then on I had to write the stories about the critters in the photos and thus was born my column “Critter Corner.”


I could send birthday greetings to Bill Morem too. He was also once the editor of the Sun Bulletin and over a lunch of hot dogs from a stand down on the waterfront he took me on as a writer too. “Find out why the cormorants are taking over the Heron Rookery,” he said to me, “and what are they going to do about it.” That was my first assignment. I did find out. Seems you can’t just tell a double-crested cormorant not to use the trees in the Heron Rookery. They don’t listen. And the Ranger said we can’t meddle in the lives of wildlife.


Thanks to these two men I went on to write numerous articles for almost every publication put out on the Central Coast of California. I’m still doing it. I feel like I really should send them a greeting on Facebook.


One day, my birthday will pop up too. I may be gone to my great reward. In Facebook I will live on. So I invite those of you left behind, please do send a greeting. In Facebook, no one dies!

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