A few months after James died, I started a Meetup group for young widows and widowers. Around the same time, I joined Facebook. I did that because my Canadian friend "made" me. He did it in the form of a riddle-if I wanted to know what he looked like, that's what I had to do. Ironically, he's not a Facebook fan.
At first, I only accepted friend requests on Facebook from people I've known for a long time-close friends, family, classmates, etc. Facebook, for me, was a place where not everyone knew my story. For most people, I was just Heather. I was the girl they remembered from grade school, high school, college, our time in Arizona, etc. I was me again. And I liked it.
And then my widower friend sent me a friend request. I didn't know what to do about that; it would be an intersection of two parts of my life I was keeping separate-that I was compartmentalizing. I accepted the friend request; I then allowed other members of my widow/ers group become my Facebook friends as well. As I became close to the members of the fun Meetup group, I slowly started to "friend" them on Facebook as well. I let those two parts of my world collide. It's handy if I want to plan an event for just my friends instead of posting the event through Meetup. I have them all in the same place.
My widowed peeps group knows about my fun Meetup group; most of my friends in the fun group know about the other group. But they've always been two separate entities. Until now. At our last dinner, my widower friend, another member of the group and I decided we should have a karaoke night. We decided it should be posted for our group but also through Facebook to open it up to our other friends as well. We set it up for Friday night. I didn't know how this would turn out. Not everyone is comfortable hanging out with a group of grieving people. (They don't know our group!) On Facebook, I just said it was a night for friends.
The turnout consisted of myself and three others from the widowed peeps group, two friends of my widower friend and six friends from the fun Meetup group. We had a great time; I was happily surrounded by some of my favorite people.
I told my friend who helped create the fun group I never thought my Meetup worlds would collide. We've discussed my compartmentalizing my life. He gave me a kiss and said he didn't think he'd see it either. I'm glad it did. After all, we're all just people. Awesome ones at that.