What If The Pain We Feel From The Disappeared Is Common To Us All?

I have a friend here, in Tijuana; she’s maybe my first friend here that I made.

The past year we would get together for coffee once, maybe twice, a week.  We would talk about life, love, plans for the future, dreams, unfulfilled dreams, and what was going on at the local Cultural Center.

Then, one day she disappeared, I thought.

She deactivated her Facebook around the same time I broke my phone and lost access to my contact list.

I tried sending her a couple emails, but never got a response – just silence.

One day last year, we had been on a walk and had passed by her office; she had given me an impromptu tour of where she worked.  So, I knew where she worked, and I knew I could just stop by to say hi.

But, I didn’t.  Months went by and I never got a response to the emails – she never reactivated her Facebook (or, I thought blocked me, maybe??)

Just, after everything, one day, it was all gone – was she ok? She’s not posting anything new on Instagram! That’s definetely a cause for concern, right??

Today, I was going about my day, as somewhat usual, and driving home, I pass her office building.  For the past several months, I’ve passed her building as it’s on the way from downtown to my house and I’ve wondered, “Is she ok? Did I do something wrong? Why doesn’t she respond to her emails? She must hate me? She must want space?” Today, I decided to say hi.

After accidentally walking into the wrong office (very embarrassing when your Spanish isn’t good and you’re trying to explain, “whoops! Wrong office!”), I remembered her office and went up to the front door.

I gently tapped on the door – while a million thoughts went through my head on how this was going to play out?

She poked her head through the window and a smile formed on her face.

She opened the door, “You disappeared!

I said, “No, YOU disappeared!

And, I am left to wonder – who else is waiting on me to say hi? Who else is wondering about me?

What if the world is simply people waiting for someone they miss to say hi?

What if our “busyness” is simply numbing the pain of those people in our lives that we miss disappearing?

I remember talking to a childhood friend years later when we both were grown up.  She confided that growing up she would wait by the phone for my to call her.  I would do the same – I waited for HER to call me. And, in all those years, neither one of us took the step to call the other.  We both just waited – we both were waiting for the other to take that step to simply say, “Hi”.

And, now I wonder, who from my life is gone – Facebook may give the illusion of connection, but if I don’t take the initiative to say, “Hi”, it can feel like waiting?

Are we all living a life in wait?

Are we all passing by buildings full of people that we miss as we go about our day – Are we the disappeared from the lives of those people who care about us?

And, it’s in these days, who else is waiting for me? Who else wants to say hi?

Maybe these addictions of being busy are simply ways to numb the pain of lost attachments?

What if we started to say, “Hi!”, to people we miss? Maybe they are waiting for us to take the step?

Maybe, they are suffering, just like us, because we all feel the pain of the disappeared.

Jamie Smith

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