I have never been able to readily let people go.
I am not really sure where this comes from. I wonder if it comes from a deep seated feeling that people leaving means that I am not good enough or worthy of enough to be maintained. Or it could simply be from a sense of pride, that horrible monster that says "You do not leave me. I leave you."
But if I objectively look at the outcome of the last 35 years, I come away with the sense that far more people have left than have stayed. And the longer I live, the more attenuated the gaps seem to become, until what would seemed to have been a steady course of land stretching behind me has a series of small islands, more and more which seem to be receding into the Sea of Memory.
People get busy, of course. And in a society where there is a plethora of things to occupy one's time, keeping up with old acquaintances that one has not seen in years and with whom one shares perhaps nothing in common now- or worse, only bad and unfortunate memories- probably falls to bottom of the list. As, quite likely, it should.
I get wistful, of course. It is part of the romantic in me, I suppose - wondering what happened to people, where they are now, what they are doing - not that this information is at all inaccessible these days of course: give me five minutes and two social media sites and I can general find out.
But that is not really the point. I can find the information; I can no longer find the people.
That is the most distressing part. It is one thing to have events wander away from us; it is another thing entirely to figure out that there is quite likely a reason that people are no longer in contact with you.
The fault, I suspect, is largely my own. Contrary to my beliefs about myself, I have created any number of bad memories for others, no doubt. I have failed others. I have been unkind with words and deeds. I have not always treated others as I ought.
And so now, every time I find such an urge rising up in me - the urge to follow a link, to search a name, to linger over a recent picture and memories - I beat it back down inside and carefully lock it away. People have chosen. And it is far more important that I respect their choice than fulfill any sort of foolish nostalgia I have lingering my mind.