I just lost a friend. Every fiber of my being knows she is gone, yet reality is perception and does not allow me to mourn the way I feel I should. I still expect to see her, smiling, laughing, or rolling her eyes at the ridiculousness life throws at us every day. I have shed tears, but they come from seeing other people in pain, not from my own.
Everyone keeps asking if I’m okay, and I say “I’m fine” or “I’m good” without really thinking about if those statements are true. Sometimes I wonder if I’m still in denial or if I’ve shut down in an effort to spare myself the pain I know is lurking inside me. I see my other friends weeping freely and envy them that ability. Yet I can’t say the words I want, so I’ve come back to write them.
To my friend,
I wish I could have said goodbye and told you how much you meant to me. I wish I could have one more dinner together just talking about our lives, our travels, or just enjoying each other’s company. Whenever I felt left out, there was always you to make me feel not alone. Whenever I was troubled you listened. You laughed at my jokes, lame as they were sometimes.
It was almost scary how much we thought alike on certain things, and astounding about how much we differed on others. Yet we accepted our differences and celebrated our similarities, and I loved you for it.
I started to distance myself, not just from you, but from everybody, due to circumstances that had nothing to do with you, and everything to do with my own cowardice, and for that I’m so sorry. Like so many, too many, I took for granted there would be time. Time to sort through my problems and maybe try to reconnect, but you were betrayed by your body and taken far too soon.
So I sit here, numb and wanting to grieve, but still hoping to see your smile one more time. I sit with the knowledge that my pain and grief pales in comparison to your family’s. Another friend of ours, and you can probably guess who, thanked them for the privilege of creating you so we could know you for just a little while, and I want to add my thanks to them as well. You were truly a special person, which I don’t think you realized. That lack of realization made us love you all the more.
Goodbye and I hope you knew how much you were loved while you were with us.
I love you, kiddo.