[A version of this was first published on Facebook the day after the passing of classmate Erin MacDuff.]

When I was eight, we moved from the city to this little town. For the next ten or so years, I spent over 40 hours per week with the same 90 or so people in my grade. We weren’t always friends, but we all got to know each other very, very well over that decade or so. When you finally leave a town like ours – well, you never do leave, really. The town kind of follows you around wherever you go.

Life goes on and those ninety people are all out there, somewhere, doing interesting and not so interesting things, having families, or not, building careers, or not; just living their lives.

Facebook, in its infinite weirdness, has given us the ability over the years to catch glimpses of those ninety or so lives without the awkwardness of a high school reunion – though, we had those too. Those ninety or so people are always there, just on the periphery of our social consciousness. We catch glimpses.

And then, suddenly, they’re not always there. Today, there is one fewer of that ninety or so. RIP Erin.

Colin Carmichael