One year ago, I was in a different city, a different job, a different place in life. One year ago, I didn’t know how my world would be rocked and shocked. Surprised. But I guess that is the very definition of “surprise.” One year ago, I wept, mourned, and experienced heartbreak like I never have before. I mourned the death of a more than 20 years friendship.
This wasn’t a physical death. No, this person is still alive and a new mother to a little girl. And I wish her peace, joy, and redemption. This was a physical separation. An emotional goodbye. A farewell to all we experienced in the past.
Friendships come and go. That is something we all experience. Our best friends in high school might not be so in college. And our college friends might just now be Facebook friends where we like each other’s posts and keep in touch through seeing each other’s Instagram photos. But those are friendships that fade over time.
This loss of friendship came swiftly and abruptly.
This was one of my closest confidantes, a sister, a life-long secret keeper. We spent summer after summer together, had multiple sleepovers, and found solace in each other’s houses like it was our second homes. So yes…I wept, mourned, and experienced heartbreak like never before.
The betrayal and hurt was heavy those first few days, but as time moved on, so did I. Those who knew about the situation became a support system. Their love and affection healed the hurt and pointed to a Greater Love that knows no bounds. I grew even closer to my best friends and became more open rather than more guarded.
There are moments where I think about my friend: When an inside joke pops up in my mind, I think about you. When a new movie comes out that we would have watched together at matinee, I think about you. When I crave certain foods, I think about you. When I get a new dress and I know you will ask “Is that new?,” I think about you.
Yes, these memories I will cherish forever. And my love for her will never go away…but I have moved on.
Rather than being bitter, I became more empathetic. Rather than having self-pity, I shed the negativity. Rather than dwelling in the past, I pressed on.
I won’t let the past define me or affect the new friendships and relationships I make now. I am reflecting on the past, not to dwell on it because I have moved beyond the hurt and the tears. Many people have asked me how I am doing, and to them my answer of “I’m great!” might make me seem cold-hearted or indifferent. My intuition of their question and my response makes me think that they want me to be aching and constantly contemplating what was done in the past. But that’s just it. It’s done. It’s in the past.
You can send your condolences and your pity, but know that I’m no longer sad. You can try to evoke a depressing emotion out of me, but my tears have been shed, and I know that joy comes in the morning. Don’t feel sorry for bringing up the topic or trying to skirt the issue. Don’t try and whisper it to me like it shouldn’t be spoken like “he who shall not be named.” Don’t make it seem like these are shackles weighing my family and me down.
Because of redemption, there is nothing to be sad about. When you are in the presence of True Love, what place does temporary sadness have?
Today, I am in a new city, a new job, a new place in life. I am the same, but different. Today, I am joyful and hopeful, even in the midst of nostalgic memories popping in my mind every now and then. Today is not one year ago. And today is a good day.