I am friends on Facebook with someone I went to high school with, but lost touch in the years since. We were not the closest of friends, but we got along well and I enjoy following up on her business and life in the States via Facebook. Let’s call her A.
Today she posted something in which she mentioned that she had “lost her best friend at 21”, but gave no details.
In high school, A was really good friends with B, who was someone I hung out with quite a bit, particularly the first couple of years. B was painfully shy and never made her way into my larger social group, or any other as far as I knew, and she was always rather distant with most people.
Several years ago, I was home from university visiting my parents and the local news was on TV in the background. I reacted to a name in a piece about someone who had died, in the woods near the village where B lived. I never heard the name clearly, or the method of death, but I remember thinking “did they just say “B”?!” I remember trying to google or otherwise see if I could find another reference to the story, but I never found anything. I never bothered to try and contact the news station, because even at that point, A and B were distant memories from high school. I can’t imagine there’d be any easily googled information all these years later.
Thing is, seeing A’s Facebook post made me remember that news story which may or may not have been about B. I don’t even know if my memory dates from about the time we would have been 21 or 22. I know A was very involved in her church community outside of school, so there could have been any number of friends that I didn’t know about, and her post might be referring to someone else who died in a car accident, or an illness or something else.
So now I’m sitting here wondering if I should ask her about it? Other than “hi, how are you, I work here now, married this guy, how about you?” we have had absolutely no contact in the past 12 years, but, well, I can’t shake this feeling that maybe it really was B in that news story. It wouldn’t change anything in my life, other than feeling a little sad for a while, and even if it wasn’t B, asking A could bring back painful memories for her about whoever her friend was.
I guess I’m asking for advice. Should I ask, or just let this go as another unknown about “whatever happened to that classmate?” And if I ask, how? I can’t think of a way to ask “hey, your friend that died…was it B?” I mean, what if B is perfectly fine and living a nice happy healthy life? It’s rather creepy to ask if she’s dead, right?
What would you do, and how?