Tuesday, February 8, 2011

dear friend

You must understand, friends.
That I am allowed to be angry. For all the days that I am strong, chipper, and facing the world with the smile... I am allowed days of anger, grief, sadness...
because that's all part of this journey.
As a friend I don't expect you to be at my beck and call every 24 hours. Although some of you have mentioned that I can call you anytime. I trust those who have mentioned this.
I do not try to drag everyone down into my problems. That's why I blog. So, if one is offended then you just have to stop reading. Because, the whole purpose of this is to express myself.
Someone commented yesterday that "the reason your friends stop calling you is because they want to LIVE."
Probably one of the most selfish things I have heard.
I am offended and just plain taken aback.
I would NEVER stop calling a friend if they are in pain. This is the time you want to call them MORE. Or else... why would they be a friend? To only have them in the good times in your life?What a waste of a relationship.
Helen Keller once said:Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
I couldn't agree more. Why it may be easy to go on with your happy life that doesn't mean to abandon those in need. I know it's easy to dismiss this with a "you have to move on." But that doesn't just happen. And it takes time. It's only been 9 months. My wound is still healing. It's in fact very fresh. So, perhaps it would be best to try and imagine what it would be like to be in my shoes. It's awful, huh? I wouldn't want to do it either. I am living the nightmare everyone is afraid to face. I lost the one thing I can never replace completely. Along with the future we had planned together. And with sorrow comes the support of friends. They are my stake in the ground.... and I am the vine that grows around it. With the stake I can grow taller... reaching towards the light. without it... I whither away.
I need my friends.
And I hope they feel they need me.
I know they do.
As a friend I feel like I have a lot to offer.
And I know that John wouldn't want me to lose those I love most because of his death. But I am sure he would also want me to be taken care of.
It isn't that I am not learning to find my own way.
I do that day to day.
But part of who you are is the people you surround yourself with.

A friend makes that phone call. As uncomfortable as it may be... it means the world. A friend invites me to lunch, coffee, or a movie. I don't expect you to pay. I don't expect you to pick me up. I will meet you there. We can talk about anything. It doesn't have to be about John. And if you want to talk about John... I am more than willing. I love sharing our stories and our love. Thats how I keep him alive.
A friend reaches out when I am at my worst.
When I cry out for help it's usually for a good reason.
When the pain gets tough... it's nice to have someone there to hug, hold, and cry on.
Did their LIFE stop when they offered their help? Absolutely not. They are doing what I would do for them. They care. They want to continue the bonds made before John's death and make them stronger even after.
There are two ways we can make it out of this:
1) I lose you.
You stop calling. You can't handle my burden. You float off into your own world. You become distant. You say something rude. You make me feel guilty for having grief. You never take time to listen or be sympathetic or empathetic. You lack the compassion to carry on a mature relationship with someone.
2) Our friendship grows stronger than ever.
We pick up where we left off and build on what we have using lessons learned from John's death. That you never know where life can take you and to cherish the people you have in your life that LOVE you. You share your LIFE with me rather than "moving on" with it. You remember me and you remember my John. You don't forget the milestones. You offer help. You listen and offer advice. You become a person I can rely on. Our relationship becomes stronger than ever before.

It's really something I have no control over.
As much as I would love to keep all of my friends... it wouldn't surprise me if I lose a couple. And it just breaks my heart.
Friends, do not give up on me.
For I would never give up on you.
And neither would John.
He wouldn't want his death to cause me to lose more loved ones.
Losing people after a traumatic loss due to the fact of their own misunderstandings is adding insult to injury. Why add to the pain? Loss is loss. Losing John PLUS people I care about immensely... makes no sense.

Please watch your words.
Please think twice before you speak.
Your words are ammunition.
And some have wounded me with their words.

Take a step back. from yourself. from your computer.
reflect on all the things you have.
Now, pick your favorite thing.
Maybe it's your husband, your child, your pet, your job...
now. take it away. imagine it was taken from you. INSTANTLY. SUDDENLY. UNEXPECTANTLY.
Feel the hurt.
Feel the confusion.
Feel the emptiness.
You lost your world.
But now come back... and realize it's not really gone because it was just imaginary.
Mine is not.
Mine is a reality.

What does it take to get you to understand, friend?


Allison said...

I wish I would have written something like this so long ago. It's really sad. I have absolutely no friends from the life I had before. It was almost like I died too. People can't comprehend what we have/are/will have to go through. It's shitty, and sometimes people are shitty too.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should seek out some widow friends....

Heidi said...

Wow, a powerful post. I stumbled along you blog from another, and i haven't read any of your other posts, yet. But you have it right a friend would be there always, no matter how long it takes. Time doesn't heal all wound in 9 months, it can take years. A true friend will stand by you and cry with you. I hope you have a lot of people around who can be that for you. My best to you,

Anonymous said...

Hi Autumn,
I can not express in words how deeply sorry I am to hear about your loss. There is really nothing I can say to make the sadness, pain and anger go away. You have the right to feel how you do. Just want you to know I am praying for you to have streangth and courage one day at a time.

Autumn said...

Thank you all for understanding and taking time to read. I am glad i expressed myself the way I intended. Not to offend.. just to be real.

anonymous- i have many widow friends. They have helped me immensely. I don't know what I would do without these women.

Ginger said...

I'm sorry that some people have not been there for you the way that you need them to be. These people are not true friends.