Crow’s Feet
Published in

Crow’s Feet


The Line Is Dead

And they never call

Photo of the author’s phone by the author.

Just got another Facebook friend request from a dead person. The account had been hacked or duplicated, and some cretin was using the account with malicious intent.

I thought it would be good if the next of kin knew about the breach of decency.

Scrolling through the list of contacts, I chanced across several names with one thing in common. Each is no longer with us. Their time on Earth has passed.

“These names should be removed,” I thought. The happiness needle, already on melancholy, swung down to sadness.

It is one thing to happen upon the name of a departed friend, and quite another to take action to remove that name from the list.

“Are you sure you want to delete this contact?” asked the phone.

Well, no. Quite the contrary. I’m sure I don’t want to delete this contact. This was a person who mattered to me. We spent time together. But it seems like I should.

Deletion is so final. The resolve to complete the task was lacking.

But they will never call, and I never call them, so it seems these names and numbers really don’t belong on the list. And there is always a small chance I’ll be totally freaked out when some spammer uses their number, or I’ll get a call from someone to whom the number has been reassigned.

In passing, I mentioned my gloom to my wife, saying, “I really should remove the names of dead friends from my phone.”


“Because we never talk anymore. We can’t. And it makes me sad.”

“Really? I like having passed friends’ names in my phone. Whenever I see them, it makes me remember and think about them. And that makes me happy.”

I can live with that.



“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” (Frank Lloyd Wright) Non-fiction pieces, personal essays and occasional poems that explore how we feel about how we age and offer tips for getting the most out of life.

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Randy Fredlund

I Write. Hopefully, you smile. Or maybe think a new thought. Experiences and observations are presented in words and images.