I’ve learned I’m not always in the right frame of mind to receive news, good or bad, and when that happens, it takes me days to process how I feel. I like structure in my life. I’m not a person who is spontaneous in the way that everyday is unplanned. I have moments that are like little surprises and I like them, mostly. But the control freak in me is more structured.
I hold my emotions much like this as well. I don’t have a poker face, so I hold as much as I can as close as I can for as long as I can. I let things simmer inside until I’m ready to deal with it. Sometimes this works out well, sometimes it doesn’t. It usually tends to end up here, with you, my therapists…
I found out a few days ago that someone I shared many years of my life with had died. Not recently, but three years ago…about the time I started searching for them on the WorldWideWeb. I’m not sure how I am dealing with this, as it’s a mix of sadness, bittersweet, guilt and shock. I don’t like how this feels.
She was a person I met through a friend. She quickly became part of the family and we spent every holiday together. I chose her child’s name when her and her husband couldn’t decide. We spent weekends together. She helped me move, I helped her move. We weren’t soul sisters, we weren’t besties, but we were good friends that felt like family and somehow through two divorces and my coming out, we drifted apart.
I was at a big box store and the cashier recognized me. She was a mutual friend. She then told me about our friend, how she had died, how the last of her life had been and if you had walked up to me, in the nude and peed on my leg, I would have been less shocked. I’m still trying to figure it out.
I walked away, I didn’t think twice, she moved on to a new life as she divorced about 18 months before me…I got it, she was single and had single friends. She had every other weekend to be free to go out late and sleep in; I was married mommy of two that had recitals, weekend sports and laundry. I didn’t make time, neither did she. Our lives that had intersected ended.
I didn’t think of her for years, then around 2012, she popped in my mind and since then, I’ve looked for her, to reach out and catch up. Now I know I can’t. That moment has passed and it feels like an empty spot. I’m not sure how to get around it. Or if I even need to.
For some insane reason, I now miss her. I want to tell her I’m sorry for being too busy to stay friendly. I want to hear about her life and her new husband. If she was happy. If she ever thought of me because I need to feel less guilty.
I think I really wish the cashier hadn’t recognized me. That I could have not thought about her. Or her child. Or those bittersweet memories. That I didn’t sit and wonder how her life had been. That seems so selfish of me, so self centered. Her death has become about me, someone she hadn’t talked to in over 10 years. I’m crazy, right?
I wasn’t ready to hear that news. I wasn’t ready to have something that close to home. I’ve had other friends die, I don’t process it well at all, but this one had been closer. This one was family for a time.
In the end, she’s at peace, she was the person who would be grateful to finally be Home and she would never want anyone to be sad that she was gone, but happy because she had been a part of their life.
Godspeed my friend, Godspeed.