Grief, Friendship, and the Most Important Thing

Al mal tiempo buena cara!
Credit: Flickr / Andrés Nieto Porras

One of my friends died not too long ago and #fuckcancer. But at least I got to say goodbye, and to say what seemed like the most important thing to say. It’s rare that you get that kind of closure.

So I clung to that when I knew the end was near. And I reminded myself of that when I got That Email and cried alone in an airline lounge at 4am. I referred back to it in the days that followed.

And then. Her family released an obituary and I there was something in it where my reaction was like… woah. I did not know that. It wasn’t one of the (many) cool things she did. My friends are generally interesting people who I learn new things about each time we talk. But how she felt about something that I really believed she, of anyone, had figured out.

And I wish I had said, this is how I feel about this thing. And I wish I had heard how she felt about it. And of course now, I won’t.

For me, grief always come with a side of guilt. How can I be sad, when other people will be more sad? I generally find trite the things we “learn” and “realise” when people we care about die. I think we know these things, we just don’t prioritise them.

Of course, though, trite is another word for common, and so I have channelled my feelings into making more of an effort with my friends. Maybe they find me needy and clingy lately. Maybe they attribute it to other reasons. Maybe they like it.

And I have been reflecting on the nature of friendship. I realise that friendship is not linear, recall that people come and go from our lives, and contemplate that I have never been able to predict who will end up being important in my life long term and who will be temporary.

Finally, I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the many wonderful people in my life who I am lucky enough to know and love. The people who adventure with me, inspire me,  support me practically – and emotionally. Who send me adorable animal pictures, call me on my shit, and push me to be a better human. I love y’all.

But seriously, #fuckcancer.

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