I have not much to say, but she was my friend and she is gone. And I will miss her. I began to miss her those years ago, watching this disease take my friend and turn her into a stranger. When you’re young, it is impossible to comprehend the consequences, to fathom the future or see more than the here and now. You always just assume it will all be OK.
Even into my 30s, it is still easy to make this assumption. But sometimes, perhaps oftentimes, it is not. Those golden, fearless, free days of my late-teens and early-twenties were spent with her. Living together. Laughing. Crying. Fighting. Growing. Up and apart. How differently lives that once seemed so similar can end up.
Today I will be sad for a friend who lost so much, who never found what she was looking for. And I will be thankful for the peace she has found. For that time in our lives, never to be replaced, but to be looked upon with fondness.
I will learn to live a little bit each day for those who no longer can. To find beauty and appreciation in things often ignored, taken for granted. Smile at things I know she loved, or perhaps would’ve loved someday. Perhaps cry some, then laugh at and enjoy songs that we loved together, music she introduced me to for the first time. Songs we fell in love with together.
A million random memories have managed to flood into my mind over the past 24 hours. Not all are beautiful memories, but I will be thankful for each and every one, for that was a special time in my life and I like to think it was a special time in hers. A closeness was formed that I hope she didn’t truly feel was broken out of meanness, but somehow understood it was out of necessity, preservation of oneself, myself.
Sometimes you cannot continue to watch people harm themselves and have to make the decision to move on with your life before you start to sink down yourself. Anyone with addictive tendencies, myself in mind, could have easily ended up in her shoes. No, we didn’t all have the same personal demons to fight, but a few different choices could have had a lot of us here writing a different story or perhaps not here at all.
Sitting here today, those thoughts are flooding back in as well. Always the “was there something I could have done? or said?”. Ultimately, rationally, we know the answer is no. But while the mind protects, it also attacks.
I hope you rest easy my dear friend. I hope it didn’t hurt and that it wasn’t scary. I hope you didn’t feel alone. I hope you knew that you were loved. I hope you’re out there in the cosmic beyond free of pain and agony and the things that hurt you for so long. I hope you get to watch the rest of us and I hope we get to do good things that make you happy and proud. I wish you could be here to do it all with us.
This song was one that I suppose could fall under the “weird” category – we both liked it and it seems appropriate today.