I had a call from the Empress this morning as I was finishing up the week’s blogging for the Australians. A dear friend of ours has lost her husband and the memorial service was this morning.

It was a good service; I kept thinking how much he would have liked it. There was a skirling bagpipe and a lady ragging up “I’ll Fly Away” on the piano and a slideshow and an elaborate military ritual and a lot of crying.

I hugged my friend and said, “I’ll talk to you later,” which was odd, but funerals make me feel odd.

The Empress came back to my place for a cup of tea. We haven’t really sat down together for a while, so we had a lot of catching up to do.

Later, I was thinking. Funerals do that to me, too. I thought, “She’s the first of us to lose her husband.”

Because we brought up our kids, and each of us had a daughter get married, and we all lost parents, and we’ve just generally shared a lot of milestones in a group, more or less. And most of us will be widows, statistically speaking, but she was the first.

I also thought about the people I knew in college, for some reason. I can only remember a few names from those days and I’ve only kept in touch with one friend from school. So I googled a few… those whose names I can remember.

One has become a lawyer and one is still a musician, and good for both of them. One appears to have become a New Age trainer of some kind, and another is a pastor. The rest are invisible online. How can that be? It’s the 21st century. What are they doing, that they don’t even have a profile on LinkedIn or Facebook?

And what of all those people whose names I cannot now even recall? I can remember deep conversations and easy fun and complex relationships, dates and crushes we thought at the time were love, and feelings of connection that apparently evaporated pretty quickly. Now I can’t even remember these people.

It’s so easy to lose track of people. There was no point at which I thought, “I’m never going to contact her again. I’m going to forget all about him.” It just happened. I’ve slid in and out of friendships with so many people over the years, unintentionally.

And my friend whom I saw today, too. There was no point at which I decided not to be friends with her any more, and yet there I was at her husband’s funeral, completely astonished. It has been … a year or more, I’m sure, since I last saw her. Why had I not been there for her when he was ill? I guess I’ve just been busy, and time flies when you’re having fun.

The Empress and I have a plan to get together with this friend of ours regularly. The Empress is good at organizing things, so it might happen.