Death comes in so many forms and wears many different disguises. I just lost another dear friend. That’s five in only two years. I really can’t wrap my head around this, much less my broken, tender heart. It seems I can’t catch my breath from one til the next. I know people die and that’s a part of life. I know, I know, I know…. I guess I just never imagined that it would start at this age. I really always figured maybe around 60 or so, I would have to start dealing with multiple and/or possible frequent deaths. Wrong.
At the same time as this, I was fortunate that my first love who first introduced me 27 years ago to this man who passed happened to be in town when Andy passed. Or, so I thought it was fortunate at first, when I found out Wednesday morning…
I can’t figure out if it’s just me or if I happen to be surrounded somehow by non-sentimental people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging them for that. If anything, I am deeply jealous of their disconnection from emotion or maybe it’s just that they have a “healthy” disconnection/connection to their emotions while mine is not?
Death makes me cling almost fervently to the people I love: those I once loved, those I currently love, those I love as friends, loved as lovers, even those I love as good acquaintances for who they are in this world. It has hit me like a vehement sucker punch to the heart that beyond the distance life creates naturally as people grow up, mature, and develop lives totally separate from the people who were once a daily piece of your life – which feels like a death when you reconnect with them and you experience that awkwardness that distance, time, and change has inevitably created…that canyon between you that formed while you were just going about life. I mean, the friendship is still there… sort of… Or, is it not really friendship? Maybe it’s just that space you once shared together of memories and good will? More like a mutual honoring of the past that’s gone and dead and stands in the exact spot where the actual friendship, as a living, breathing, growing thing of its own once stood?
Several phrases have grabbed me through these past two years and feel particularly poignant to me with this loss I experienced while also reconnecting with my first best friend ever who also happened to be my first lover as well: “Not friends – just strangers with memories.”
And the other I can’t recall or find because although I posted to Facebook to remember and use for later (which is now), Facebook’s new idiotic “selective” post recollection is freakin preventing me from finding it unless I want to spend all day hunting for it through the “hidden” areas of my timeline. FUCK YOU FACEBOOK! YOU STUPID IDIOTS…WTF?! Good Lord, that is frustrating as hell!
Anyway… I feel like a freak because losing my daddy really made me realize that I don’t have forever with the people I love. It made me want to cherish them more and commit to making more efforts to keep in touch and keep communication ongoing and regular. Strangely, it apparently did the opposite to every other person in my life and in my daddy’s life. The other people closest to him withdrew from me(my children) or shit on me (my children and the rest of my blood relatives).
And now, again, I feel like I want to hold close to these friends from my past whom I’m reconnecting with on George’s visit here. I feel sentimental and enthusiastic to institute a new, solid bond like we once had. I realize that we all have separate lives now as adults so it can’t be the same…but you know, just establish that the connection, history, emotion, and experience is significant and matters enough to not want to resume the disconnection with this person, but to establish that it’s too important to let it slip back into the borders of oblivion (infrequent and rather formal texts now and then saying “how are things” or the yearly “happy birthday” contact).
So, in my little ways, I have tried to do this and met with an apathy which really hurts. Hurts like a death. Like it says to me, our bond as a primary, living, and cherished thing is dead. I’m content with our surface contacts and will wait til you die to think of making an effort to cherish what we share(d) between us.
Is there something wrong with me? Am I the only person who feels the pang of regret at allowing distance from those whom were once so important to maintain and grow bigger? The only one who feels the overwhelming bigger picture of loss and thus, the deep desire to at least make an effort to express the importance, the love that lingers, and hope to reestablish something less fleeting with this once so-important relationship?
I recognize that I’m typically more sentimental than the average person. I know that’s a fact…but I’m just surprised at a deep level that I seem to be the only one I know whom feels this when a death occurs. That, to me, feels like apathy for the relationship – past, present and future. And then, I can’t help but think to myself if the relationship and the connection is NOT worth that….then was it ever really of the importance it once seemed to hold at all? I mean, I’ve come to realize that if you are willing to dismiss a person you once loved so completely, then it’s most likely you never really loved them at all. Of course, I’m not talking about the toxic people you must remove yourself and emotions from for self-preservation, sanity, and mental health; I mean, the ones you loved so dearly and you parted or separated just due to life and circumstance. I’m talking about those people who once said things to you like, I would die for you…you’re the best friend I ever had…or, you showed me what love/friendship/happiness really is.
Does this not remain for most people? Do pieces of that – important pieces- not remain in the hearts of most people? Am I truly just a sentimental, freak of nostalgia?
As the numbers of those whom I love, past and present, continue to stack up in this, I’m really reflecting on has anything ever mattered? Does it just die in all ways for most people? Like, yeah, I’ll feel sad when they pass away, but not sad enough to hold onto the bonds we share or give them a little more time and attention than I have been prior to losing this most recent friend or loved one…?
Does anyone in this world really mean it when they say they love you? Do those words carry any depth beyond just that moment in time anymore? For anyone but me?
RIP Andy. I regret letting our lives distance as it did. I’m sad you are gone and I hadn’t made an effort to stay better in contact with you over the past few years. You were a bright spot of encouragement and genuine friendship in my world so many times. A friendship I cherished enough that I wish I could go back a week ago and make an effort to reconnect and catch up with you and your world…and be sure to let you know exactly what you meant to me. And that you meant enough to me to not let life keep growing the divide without making an effort to bridge it. You were my friend. Thank you.
I hope you can read this from wherever one goes after death…and I hope that place is the Heaven I believe in.
And, I guess…to all those whom are still alive that I cherish and hate to think of you passing away…those who seem apathetic toward this concept. If this isn’t important now, then I don’t know why we’d bother to reconnect here and there anyway. What’s that even for? And maybe, just fuck you. if I don’t matter much at all now, not even in the wake of losing a childhood friend , then I couldn’t have mattered much back when you told me so often I did. That makes me sad and it hurts, so yeah, fuck you.
The scariest of all to me in this sad realization, is that if none (and I mean none) of the past relationship ever had any real importance, then how do I not filter every new and blossoming relationship or friendship through that knowledge? I mean, if I already know nothing lasts forever for other people …not even love or friendship…then what is any of it worth as people say the words “I love you” or “you matter to me” important even as they speak and claim they feel them?