I have a friend. Someone that is very important to me. Someone that I, dare say, love. At least on some level.
Her partner passed away a few months ago. It was sudden and unexpected.
The two of them had a beautiful life. Love, laughter, children, success. They completed each other in a way that most of us think only exist in movies and fairy tales.
I went to see my friend this weekend. It was awkward and tense. I wanted to wrap my arms around her so many times and tell her it will all get better, but somehow it didn’t feel like that was the right thing to do.
We have been talking almost daily through texts and on the phone. Unlike others, I simply listen as she tells me about her partner. The dreams they had together, their life, things she would do that would get on her nerves.
Sunday she broke down. Told me how there are days that she thinks that if she refuses to let herself care for anyone ever again, she’ll never feel this type of pain.
I can see her logic.
I’ve tried to be realistic and supportive. Telling her that it’s never going to go away. Eventually, she will accept that her partner is gone and she will learn to live again.
The reason I went to see her? She asked. She told me that she was in a place emotionally where she felt like she just needed me to be close to her.
On Sunday, as she sat on her porch, drinking her coffee, crying over her desperation to just survive, I walked up behind her and gently kissed the top of her head and said, “I wish you didn’t have to go through this.”
Inside I hugged her as she buried her head in my chest and sobbed.
I don’t deal well when I’m faced with the reality that I’m helpless.
I can fix her car, I can fix her dishwasher I could even fix dinner. I can’t fix this. I can’t wave a wrench, sign a set of plans or yell at a group of workers until her pain goes away.
I tell her “it will get better and you will have goods days again. I wish I could tell you when that day will be.”
The reason I’m confused right now is because I haven’t heard from her since I left her house. I’ve sent her the usual, “I hope you have a good day!” Text each morning, but the only reply I received was yesterday telling me, “thanks. Busy week”
This is not at all typical of her. Usually she will call me after class and within minutes she is once again laughing.
What happened when I went to see her that she is now hiding from me?
I see her on Facebook so I know she hasn’t taken to bed again. She’s at work and doing her job and holding down the fort at home.
A truly good friend is hard to find and one that I’ve had for so many years is suffering and I want to help.
I’m scared that I did or said something during my visit to push her away. Make her feel like she couldn’t depend on me. As though I wasn’t there for her when she needed her friend.
I’m lost and confused.
I realize that she is struggling and I know she still has days where she will “jump back down the rabbit hole” but I don’t want to lose my friend to this grief that is consuming her life.