My Attempt at Saying Goodbye

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Patrick swayze is alive , THANK GOD , just a rumor ,

That was Rian Thal’s last tweet, her last words broadcasted on Twitter. The next day, on June 27th, she and a companion were murdered at the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. Her death haunts me because the intimate details of her life were broadcasted all over the news. And the surveillance video of her moments before her death is etched in my memory.

Over the weekend, I perused Rian Thal’s Twitter to see again her last tweet. Her account @rthal is still active with the Twittascope telling her daily fortune with cheer and optimism. Aha, I thought, this proves that horoscopes are nonsense. Unless angels have new romantic options or employment opportunities to plot.

And then I had a morbid thought. What if my trip to the Tribeca Grand Hotel in NYC to see Lemonade, Free Energy, and Dave P would end in tragedy. What if the big city swallowed me whole? What would be my last words? So I left a simple tweet, one brief message among the 1,000+ of sheer nonsense that my grieving family would have to remember me by.

It’s hard to feel lonely because the love of my family is ever present. And I have some great friends too. Good night Twitter.

The tweet was mainly a lie, as I suppose last words often can be. While the love of my family is palpable, my loneliness is the thing that’s truly omnipresent. But I didn’t want to be a downer. I didn’t want to open a can of worms when I wasn’t there to explain things to my family. The great friends line was really an inside joke– it was more of a wish than a reality. Right at the moment, I am in transition which has meant that many of my friends have fallen away and my new friendships are still tender and fragile. And why am I saying goodnight to Twitter? I wasted precious character space on saying farewell to social media.

But looking back on my “last” tweet, I have to laugh. Really, I was being melodramatic. A group of my ex best friends were together celebrating a wedding that I was not invited. I had been expelled from their group several months ago. So, I was feeling a little sad. And lonely.

However, I am thinking about making real last words, which involve becoming vulnerable and doing more truth telling to people. Simply telling people how challenging the last year has been would be a good place to start.


4 responses to “My Attempt at Saying Goodbye

  1. Thanks for bringing this up. I have been thinking about “last words” for a long time now, ever since my mom died when I was twelve. I remember my dad asking my sister and I, “What was the last thing she said to you? What did you say to her?” My mother had been in the hospital, we spoke to her by phone the last time, and my father knew that in our family we ended every single phone conversation with, “I love you! Mwah!” (We still do.) Anyway, I try to stay aware that anything you say to anyone you care about (and nowadays for me that includes the Twitterverse) could be your parting words. It is so easy to lose sight of, but if remembered it will make your communiques and relationships that much better.

    • planetcaroline

      My dad died when I was twenty and I am reminded of how poignant his last words were…he had been barely conscious and uncommunicative for several days and he woke up suddenly on my sister’s birthday and asked about her. Then he slipped into a coma and died two days later. His few words gave great comfort to me and my family. Thank you for sharing Danya- it reminds me that closing every conversation with an expression of love and affection honors the relationships we cherish.

  2. A few years back, I was up in CT at my friend Bob’s, and the party took a philosophical turn, as it does sometimes with a mix of old college friends and alcohol.

    The discussion turned to a local friend of theirs who had this horrible argument with her mother that had escalated from simmering conflicts to a conflagaration. Her parting words to her mother were F-U. The next morning her mother died suddenly. The friends discussed how, to this day, she simultaneously hates herself and regrets to the utmost of her self – for cursing out her mother in their last interaction. It is hard for her to forgive the person she must forgive (herself)

    There is a saying ‘Treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead at midnight’. With respect, with live, with empathy.

    • planetcaroline

      Your story reminds me that all relationships are dynamic and that closeness ebbs and flows. What do we do about the people we love, but in the present moment cannot bear to be close to. Fights and rifts are part of life and I wonder about how we can communicate our love while acknowledging our (maybe temporary) distance.

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