Photo Credit: saavem

Two weeks ago, an older neighbor suffered a heart attack while cutting his grass, and passed away at the hospital.  His passing has weighed on us (the neighbors) because no one really “knew” him.  He was transported to the hospital as a John Doe.
Over the past two weeks, a few neighbors, through collective conversations, have been able to determine his name, that he was once married, and that he “has family down south”.  He always kept to himself, rarely left the house, and no one witnessed any visitors – EVER.  When we did see him, he would smile and waive hello as he entered or exited his home.  The few conversations were brief and generic (ie. the weather, sports).  While the neighbors have picked up his daily delivered newspapers, and cut his lawn, we wonder if his family even knows he’s gone?  Has anyone missed his presence?

This has really had me thinking about how much we connect with one another.  I know sometimes I can get consumed with daily life and go a few weeks without checking on any particular friend, but usually someone within our social group has made contact.  The same with family.  There’s always someone that has talked with somebody.  I remember going to my 36 week checkup and being admitted into the hospital with pre-eclampsia.  After 2 days, one of my neighbors approached my husband because they felt something was wrong after noticing my car was gone and they hadn’t seen me waddling around.  While it wasn’t the best circumstances, it felt good to know that my absence was noticed. 

This situation has really struck a nerve with me.  What part do I play in the lives of others?  I’ve decided that whether it’s an email, card, phone call, or text, I will do a better job of keeping in touch. 

What do you think of this situation?  Do you know anyone this has happened to?  How often do you keep in touch with friends and family?


6 Comments on Will They Miss You When You’re Gone?

  1. Shawnna Silvius
    August 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm (4 years ago)

    It’s so easy to get immersed in our own little lives that we let the true connections fall away. This is a great, yet sad, reminder to reach out and keep in touch with family and friends.

    • Beignet Mamas
      August 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm (4 years ago)

      It truly is. I think of how quick and easy it is to type a simple email or text saying, “Hey how are you? Just thinking about ya.” But yet it seems sometimes we’re too busy for even that.

  2. Mikaela D'Eigh
    August 20, 2013 at 10:04 pm (4 years ago)

    How sad! I had an aunt just pass away last week, and even though we were each other’s favorite, we hadn’t been in touch for years, something I regret. For all the wonderful technology that allows soldiers to talk to their families while on deployment, the rest of us seem to be less connected and more socially isolated.

    Thanks for sharing this story.

    • Beignet Mamas
      August 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm (4 years ago)

      Technology is something else, isn’t it? I admit, I have Skype but can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually used it. It seems we were more social and more connected prior to all the technology.

  3. Audrey
    August 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm (4 years ago)

    Last January a neighbor approached me and said “I’ve noticed your husband has been home a lot lately, is everything okay?” I tried not to laugh when I explained he was a college instructor and his break was about to be over. I could tell she was a bit uncomfortable in asking, but it was nice to know she cared. Times were tough for a lot of our neighbors then.

    Sometimes I wonder if neighbors think I am nosy because we are playing out front almost every day. I hope they think of it as a safety feature. I have been meaning to get phone numbers and e-mail addresses for my neighbors just in case.

    • Beignet Mamas
      August 25, 2013 at 12:14 pm (4 years ago)

      I often miss the closeness of my neighborhood back home in New Orleans. Everyone was in everyone’s business – good and bad! But it was okay. We knew that everyone was just looking out for each other. And if something did go down, we knew there was always someone would could tell what they saw, who they saw walking down the street, what they were wearing, and which direction they went. Sitting or playing out front wasn’t about being nosey (and still isn’t), it’s just enjoying your yard.


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