Thursday

Grief Stories~A Tale of Whys and What-Ifs

Today's Grief Story is something that I have experienced personally - the loss of a friendship. Two, in fact. I lost my two best friends shortly after college. Who knows why - was it silly girl stuff or something deeper? Thankfully, I have reconnected with both of them again (I guess that's one thing Facebook is good for). It doesn't always turn out that way, though, as our guest today has found. Losing a dear friend can leave you with a gaping hole in your heart, not so easily filled. Here is Sharon from Finding Vanilla Octopus to share her story.

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I wish I had a tale to tell of a friendship that began in high school, lasted through school transfers, depression, college careers spanning two countries, and all of the heartbreak and joy that those experiences entailed; one that continued on as the two young girls reached womanhood, started families, shared their life adventures with each other. I only wish, because I had one that only almost did.

We had our share of big fights over the years, but the final one occurred in the summer before our senior year of college. I told her to “have a nice life,” and I thought I meant it, even as the heaving sobs overtook me before I'd even put down the phone. I didn't really want an ending, just a change, and though I'll never really know just what she wanted, I can guess by the final outcome. We've never spoken again.

That companionship lasted for eight years, and has been over for almost twelve. You'd never know it by the depth of sadness that I still feel when I think of her.

 
I thought that perhaps the ache would dull once I put all of the “firsts” behind me that, at one time, I felt sure she would be witness to: my wedding, my first pregnancy, the birth of my first child, the purchase of my first home. It hasn't really.

 
Then, I thought, as I forged new friendships and made new connections, that old memories of her would feel less relevant. They don't.

 
The dreams still come unbidden, in which I see her again after so many years. Sometimes ending badly, sometimes ending so happily that I wake up grieving for the loss of the fantasy. Poignant break-up songs still leave me feeling crushed and confused; though our relationship was platonic, my love for her was deep and enduring.

 

All the while, I wonder, wonder, wonder. What is her life like? Has she found happiness? Does she ever look back with regret, as I do? Can I even feel true grief anymore through the heavy veil of that regret, that desperate longing for a closure that will never manifest?

 

Though I don't imagine that the heartache is something that will ever leave me, some days I can look back and feel that I've come a long, long way from the worst of it. It's not so easy a perspective to keep when the pain comes calling again, but I've learned not to fight it. For every time I let the whys and what-ifs pull me under, I like to think I come back up again a little stronger, a little freer for the trial.



Sharon is a stay-at-home mom and referee to three babies, aged three and under. She tries to cram in blogging time as best she can in the midst of the chaos, for love of writing and the opportunity to share her amateur photography attempts. You can connect with her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.



 



 
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