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There Will Be Tears: Love, Loss, and G-Chats
It is a strange side effect of today’s constant streams of texts, tweets, and G-chats that we are now survived by our daily conversations. It’s a phenomena Rebecca Armendariz understands all too well: as she wrote about in Good, she often searches her own Gmail account to reread her chats with Clark, her former boyfriend.
This young couple hadn’t even been together a year when Clark was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and given a bleak prognosis of 4-14 months to live. About a year later, he was dead at 33. As Armendariz writes, “My Gmail is a priceless hoard of us making plans, telling inside jokes... This is a history of our relationship that we didn’t intend to write, one that runs parallel to the one authored by his uncontainable illness.” (If you're not already misty, the last line of the essay is a total heart-breaker. )
It’s not the eloquence of the exchanges that makes them so poignant. These are not exactly the love letters between John Keats and Fanny Price. Actually, what's so moving about these exchanges is precisely this, that they aren’t love letters. The chats reveal two young people arguing, making up, teasing, flirting, bantering about the mundane, calling each other pet names, dealing with Clark’s illness, and above all, living. Seeing the words through the filter of loss serves as a reminder treasure these tossed-off exchanges, the casual back-and-forth that creates the fabric of each day. After all, these are the archives of our lives here on Earth.
More about dealing with loss:
How to handle losing a mate
Searching for meaning in the mysteries of death
Heal your grief
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