Saturday, January 15, 2011

in darkness and in light

I have a friend.
A best friend.
We met for lunch today.
It was our usual post FMEA lunch we do.
But I knew this one would be different.
Because since April our relationship has been different.
Now I had made it to the restaurant early and found myself on the phone with a friend from college. And it was a great conversation... and at the end there were tears as I told her the details of John's death she had been unaware of. I guess there are still many who don't know. Which bothers me. How can my friends talk to me and move through many conversations and not know exactly what happened to John. That would be something I would HAVE to know. I mean, what do they THINK happened is what gets me.
Anyway, conversation ends and I hang up. I cry. Wipe tears.
Best friend walks in...
We sit. Order our drinks and then we say our words.
Except she has the floor.
She mentions how we have been distanced from each other since John's death. True.
She mentions how I am bitter. True
She also brings up things that in my mind... I am unaware of. sort of. I mean, I figured it happens sometimes... but she really lays it down.
I'm mean. I'm distant. I don't ask about anyone else's lives.
And Im floored.
And I crying and sobbing.
This cannot happen.
I refuse to lose my best friend.
Because I love her. Because I need her. Because she fills in the gaps of what I am missing. Because she makes me laugh. Because she was there for everything. Because she is one of the best friends you could ever ask for. Because I honestly CANNOT live without her. And because I know that John would hate for us to lose our amazing relationship because he left Earth.
John loved her and cared for her.
He always made sure her and I kept a strong relationship.
It was important to him that I never lose those bonds.
And now I know why.
Because one day.... when you least expect it... you could lose your John.
And all you have left are those friends. Those anchors.
That keep you in place during a strong tide of your life.
And God help you if you lose those friendships during your relationship. And what a lonely road to walk alone.
But I will not.
Because she will not let me.
And neither will others.

Valentines Day two years ago I made a collage for her... and a quote... that I never knew would have the immense relevance that it does today...
"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."

And then I wrote: "To a friend I would walk with in light or darkness."

Because it's true.
And now here I am. In my darkness.
And she is still walking with me.
And I could have lost her.
But she chose to stay the course and help me.
And when I gave her that... I didn't expect for the darkness to come to my life so suddenly. I was perfectly happy walking in my light. But luckily I still had her then... and many others.

I just don't want to lose people because I scare them away.
Because I am not pleasant.
Because I am rude or bitter.
Please allow me to cry. Please listen to my stories about John. Please know that I am doing everything in my power to live day to day without breaking down.
Getting out of bed has been a big feat!

But forgive me, everyone, if I had done or said something stupid.
Because the last thing I want to do is lose you.

I could always use a hand to hold while I was in this darkness.


Hira Animfefte (Xera Anymphefte) said...

My best friend told me...the week after...when I was still too reeling too walk properly...that she could not handle her own problems and mine too. That she could not be a friend to me in my grief. And I have not heard from her since.

I miss her. I miss our friendship. Sometimes I think of calling her, but what would be the point?

I hope that your friends are bigger people.

Sunny said...

I'm sorry to hear that your friendships have suffered. Its frustrating for me when people don't understand. Reading this made me frustrated for you too. Grief is complicated. We deal with it how we can. It doesn't have anything to do with the worthiness of others in our lives. Grief is about the relationship between the bereaved and the deceased. Friends and family are invaluable in helping us through the darkness, in whatever capacity they can. Sometimes that means giving space...Sometimes it means holding on tighter. It just depends on what demands grief is placing on the bereaved one at the time. And when others don't understand what that is like - those uncontrollable pulls and tugs that grief imposes - then sometimes there is no choice but to let go. Not because you WANT to, but because you can't keep holding on...You don't have the strength. But make no mistake...those people who hold on when you can't, will be that much more valued when the wave of grief subsides. And God forbid, they should find themselves in a similar situation one day. But if they do, you will be the one holding on to them extra tightly. Because you know how much they need it. Because you've been there. And frankly, it sucks.