Monday, July 10, 2017

The (un)Grief

This is difficult for me to write. I've been sad and I'm not good at owning sadness. I have no patience for it within myself. To me, it's like a nasty cold, or a minor injury. I just want it to go away so I can get back to normal. In truth though, this feels like more than sadness. It feels a lot like grief (and that never does retreat completely). My reactions to everything and everyone around me feel like they do when grief is fresh. I feel edgy (and not cool edgy), raw, unfocused, and fairly pissed off all the time. That's me during grief. So charming.

You see, I've lost a friend. Not to death - at least I think she's still alive. It's not because of some falling out. It is, as far as I can understand, because her life changed drastically due to mental health and financial issues and she's either unable or unwilling to communicate with me. I've read up on everything I could to learn and understand. I let her know I was there without, I hope, pushing. I listened. I offered whatever support I could, which really isn't a lot more than a hand to hold and lunch. I've tried to not make this about me, but she's gone completely silent, and I hurt. I hurt a lot.

I've lost lots of friends over the decades. Losing a friend is nothing new - people change, people grow in different directions, life gets in the way. I'm not being a whiny pre-teen whose bestie doesn't want to hang out at the mall with her any more. This isn't a simple case of, "Well, I guess I'll go have coffee with someone else then."

The thing is, it was one of the best friendships I've ever had. We had a blast together. We enjoyed the same movies, music, books, food, artsy stuff. We shared a very similar sarcastic, dark sense of humor. We shared heartbreak and tears. We had great conversations about a great many things. In short, we really enjoyed our time together. I haven't had a friendship like that in many years.

Now she's phased herself from my life. She's disconnected herself. And I hurt, even knowing full well that it's not about me. I know she needs time to heal and to mend the things in her life that need mending. I'd be okay, and I told her this early on, just getting a text that reads, "Still breathing."

In the movie L.A Story, Steve Martin asks the question, "When friendship dies, where do you go to say goodbye?" Maybe that best sums up what I'm feeling. I love her and I never got the chance to say goodbye. The wretched irony is that the one person who would know how to comfort me in this is she.

I'll dry the tears that fall as I write this. I'll carry on. It's what I do. But I will hope with all my heart that a day comes soon when I can say hello again.

Because this feeling right now? It sucks.


  1. I understand this and I am sorry you are hurting. I am losing a close friendship to a friend's cancer. The person is not dying but my responsibility to let her heal has driven a distance between us. I don't feel comfortable unloading on her, yet she was my go to person. My friend who got me, accepted my quirks and had fun with me. It stinks! Hopefully, it will change but meanwhile I grieve too. Hang in there.

    1. Thank you. Here's to both of us getting through.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, my friend. Sure wish you were closer. I appreciate your friendship so much.

  3. So sorry. It hurts. My heart-sister lives on the other side of the world (I'm the one who moved), and is also weighted down by physical and mental illness. I miss her so much that sometimes it makes me feel ill. She hasn't exactly shut me out ... but she doesn't communicate. If I could just sit with her over a cup of tea we would talk, but from so far away it's impossible.

  4. I am so sorry your friend is MIA. Perhaps she is struggling with the idea of friendship right now and her own value. Not that that's a reason to leave you out. But, it could be truer than you know. I bet she loves you and misses you often.

  5. Something similar happened to me, but she was my best friend of twenty years. It wasn't a falling-out, either; I was going through some big life changes - a career change, a husband's health issues - and she was surrounding herself with people who had the ability to party every weekend. It doesn't hurt nearly so much now, three years later, but sometimes I still really miss her. Thank you for sharing. This kind of grief isn't talked about often, yet it can hurt almost as much as a death.

  6. Friendship is so very precious, and a lot of people don't "get" this-if something happens with a family member, they'll be overflowing with understanding, but in the case of a friend, the response is often lukewarm at best. I found the soul-friend I have been looking for all my life a few years ago, and can't imagine ever being without her, so my heart goes out to you. I hope with time, your friend is able to deal with her personal issues and reach a point where she is able to welcome you back into her life.