I was reviewing some old work files recently. They included copies of news coverage from my work as a public relations consultant. I saw names and faces I hadn’t thought of in years.
I came across Doris’ picture in several articles. She was a wonderful client whom I had enjoyed working with over several years. When she accepted a job on the East Coast, we lost touch. I think I last spoke with her in the early 1990s.
I decided to locate Doris and reach out to her. I started, of course, with a Google search using her name and the town where she had been living. The search results popped up. I stared intently, frozen, looking at the first item listed.
It was her obituary. Doris passed away in 2012.
This instance wasn’t the first time I’d gone looking for someone from my past who had since died. And it won’t be the last.
The experience inspired me to reach out to a dear friend. I hadn’t spoken with her in over 20 years. Nothing was awry; it was just that the direction of my life changed and with it I didn’t see her in person as I once did. We had a great phone conversation. I hope to visit her in person soon.
Time marches on. People come and go. They move, change jobs, etc. You thought they’d be in your life forever, but they weren’t. That doesn’t make them any less important, just not part of the current ebb and flow of your life. You need to be proactive.
As I was in this instance, inspired by recognition of a loss. I’m working to make it a habit to reach out to people from my past, as long as I can.