I wasn’t going to write a column this week because I wrote about our friend Michel Blanchard and I didn’t think I had anything else to say after the sadness of writing that.
But one of the things that bothered me the most about his death, aside from him being gone, is that we was alone when he died. A man that special and he did not have someone with him who might have saved him, or at least held him in his arms the next morning.
Instead, a neighbor found him two days later. Now, understand, Michel had a LOT of friends. Yet no one became alarmed for a couple of days when they had not heard from him. Part of this is because those of us who knew him, understood that he went “off the radar” occasionally, sometimes for several days.
Nonetheless, I think about how this could have ended differently. What if he had a partner with him? Or at least, if he had a pact to talk to someone everyday, just to “check in.”
It’s too late for Michel. But what about all of you out there in our readership? Do you have someone, anyone, who makes sure you are okay every day? I’m not asking to make you feel bad, but to suggest that this could be helpful in so many ways.
I have Codie, and it’s good to know that she is there. But it doesn’t have to be a wife, or a husband or even a significant other. Just a friend will do. I have a good friend in my building who is single and he and I connect about everyday, for some dumb reason or another (by either phone or text). It brings me joy because he is smart and funny, and I know that he appreciates the constant connection with someone.
I’ve not raised this issue before, but it seems that if something good at all can come out of Michel’s death, perhaps it can be to prevent a few people from having the same fate.
So if you don’t have daily contact with someone, why not make a habit of it? Reach out to a friend you talk to regularly—but not daily—and say, “Hey, did you read the column in The Cuenca Dispatch about being in daily contact with someone? Want to do it?”
There’s really no down side to it. If you ask someone to stay in touch daily, they’ll realize you think they’re a good enough friend to count on. It could lead to an even closer friendship. It may even make you realize how much other people value your friendship.
All around, good things.
So, reach out to someone today. Make your life and their life better. Because what happened to Michel shouldn’t happen. To anyone.
I’m just sayin.’