April 18, 2018

sweet sorrow

It's been about a year since our friends-who-were-family departed our lives.

I still wrestle with how much of the falling out and parting of ways was my fault (the attempt and the first catastrophic hypomanic episode and making a big deal out of everything), and how much was their fault (being burned out but not having the courage to say as much, which was the repetition of a pattern they have long experienced), and how much was just the Universe being its dependable self and pushing things through their natural progression.  Things have life spans.  Friendships have to live and breathe, and sometimes they are born, live good, long lives, and then die.  This is not always true, but the enduring ones are exceedingly rare, I would guess.

I always say that people are like chemistry class.  If you take any two people and put them into a beaker together, you might get salt or it might turn purple or it might explode.  You never know.

Our friendship lived a good, long life.  They were brother and sister to us, and still it feels like we are estranged from family rather than bumped forward in life with them in the past.  There is always a tug toward them, and then comes the memory of all that was said and done, all that happened, all that is immutable, and we sigh and think about other things, and let it be.

Thus it was a sweetness tinged with sorrow when I got a Facebook message from their daughter earlier this week.  She's the same age as my son, and he lost a friend when we lost ours.  She reached out to me with her own account, just to say hello and that she's "still awkward" and that it's been a while.  She shared a picture she had drawn (one hell of an artist, that young woman) and said she's coming to the same high school as my son next year.

Joy and dread.  Sweet sorrow.  What if we run into them at an open house or an event?  Fear.  Hope.  Terror of confrontation.  Fulfillment of dreams where I run into them somewhere in public and all gets healed.  Reality of looking around when I pick up an order in a restaurant that we used to frequent together on Friday nights.  We live in the same town.  I'm always looking over my shoulder.  Hoping.  Fearing.

There were good reasons for parting ways.  A lot of good reasons.  But love does not die after living and breathing, and we overlook a good many faults in our brothers and sisters.  In our friends-who-were-family.  I do not know what the future holds.

I do know I loved hearing from our niece.  A precious thread not cut.

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