I THINK that the Facebook status I read on Monday of this week was one of the most shocking I will perhaps ever see on the social networking site.
As I logged on to check the events list, which is where a number of local promoters let me know the details of all of the gigs they have coming up, I saw a post from a schoolfriend.
She announced, with great composure and dignity, that her husband of three years had died suddenly the previous evening. At the time, we did not know what exactly had happened, but we have since discovered that he, from out of nowhere, had a massive heart attack and had no chance at all, despite 40 minutes of attempted resuscitation by medical staff.
The pair of them had met in England – he was from Bristol – married, and emigrated to Australia just a couple of years ago. They were living an idyllic life with two demanding cats, enjoying travelling, socialising and, most importantly, each other’s company.
In all of the pictures they uploaded to the site, they looked radiant, so in love and deliriously happy.
Her husband died while they were here on holiday visiting family in Northern Ireland, so, if nothing else can be said positively about this whole thing, at the very, very least my friend was with her parents in her family home when her husband suddenly collapsed.
I know that she is consoling herself that he did not suffer, and that hers was the last voice he heard, but, all in all, it’s a pretty terrible situation.
We, her schoolfriends, have been commenting on her status to express our condolences and we have also been privately contacting each other in shock, recognising that we are the same age, and lucky enough to be enjoying life with our partners and our families.
We have no way of comprehending the shock and the loss that our friend has now experienced, or of being able to understand the unimaginably dreadful set of circumstances she has faced and still faces.
In one evening, our friend’s life has been ripped apart, and now nothing – her future, the country in which she lives and so on – is certain.
One thing’s for sure, I think it made all of us contemplate the lives of our own loved ones and how, if your friends and family are safe and well, you really have all of the most important things in life.
I certainly hugged my daughter especially tight that night, and tried extra, extra hard to be pleasant to my husband, and not to nag or berate him about domestic matters at all.
It may be a cliché, but it is undoubtedly true that money and possessions and power count for nothing in the grand scheme of things, not really.
My poor friend, tragically, now knows this better than any of us.