Blown Away.by caroline
I had a post about cupcakes up my sleeve, but another life situation has been stealing my thoughts instead …
(Don't worry: You'll still get cupcakes tomorrow!)
That's the only way I can describe the way I feel right now. Blown away that life can take such drastic turns, slamming you head first into a telephone pole or reeling straight off the side of a bridge.
How did I get here? And how is it that people can let you down so much? Like, the ones you thought you knew so well … ? The ones who seemed they'd be around forever.
I don't want to feel this way, but I feel so discouraged by the general human race. It's like my faith in humanity has been completely pulled out from under me. I know it's not the case, and I have confidence it will some day be restored. But for now it just feels like it's … woosh! Gone.
After all, I'd like to believe that most friends give each other the benefit of the doubt, a chance to explain a particular situation. An opportunity to yell and scream and call each other names, and even say, "Hey, I HATE YOU!" but let's work this out anyway because we love each other too much to do anything except exactly that.
We've invested so much in this relationship.
We thought enough of each other to share laughter and tears and secrets (some dark and scary) and love and stories about our mistakes and hugs when words just weren't necessary.
We called each other every day.
We depended upon one another.
We were best friends.
But just like that — as easily as we dust our hands off after lifting a heavy object — it's over.
When a loss like this strikes you through the heart, it strikes a scary resemblance to death. After all, the absence of that person is felt in the same manner — deep down in the pit of your stomach, working to drum its way up to your throat in the form of a tear-stirring lump.
You wake up and remember he or she is gone, and you search for a good reason to not just turn over and bury your face in a pillow.
The anger strikes every now and then, too. Why? How? Can't I have just one more moment to tell you how I feel?
But you can't.
Because whether it's death or human decision, someone has decided for you that it's over. And all you're left with are the pieces that you hope will some day, soon enough fit back together.
And with time it will. As one of my all-time favorites, Robert Frost, once said: "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
And it's so true. I learned that lesson on the day we buried my grandfather. I was only eleven years old at the time, but the day stands so vividly in my memory. As we stood at his casket and said our final remarks before it was lowered into the ground, I took a look around and couldn't help but notice the cars that passed us on the street that lined the cemetery.
I wanted to scream: "What's wrong with you?!! Don't you see we're in pain here? How can you just drive by and act like nothing is wrong?!"
I communicated these feelings later to my mother and I remember her pointing out that, initially, that is one of the most difficult things about death — you feel like the whole world should stop and mourn your loss. But, "life goes on," she said. It's a conversation I think about every time I pass a funeral procession.
This isn't about who's right and who's wrong. Lord knows I have my share of faults. Instead, it's about a greater cause, a larger purpose to see a friendship prevail and unnecessary evils be put in their place. And when that opportunity is torn away from you, when negativity does in fact take the throne and proudly boast its crown … well, it hurts.
Unlike death, however, that person's presence really is only a phone call away or a simple, chance meeting at the grocery store. It makes the sadness that creeps through your body stand out as a different sort than the one that comes hand-in-hand with death.
Will she think about me?
Will she share smiling pictures with new friends?
Will I ever see her again?
All questions that leave me to consider which is more painful: Death itself or the loss of a friend? Given the fact that I have already experienced one side of that question, I know I don't want the answer to the first part. But I know I'll struggle with that inquiry for quite some time.
And all I can hope for now is that this loss … that it too will meet the acquaintance of a life that goes on.
"Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye?" — Author Unknown