Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath oh Fresh Air

Who Knew?

on May 29, 2015

We have all read the friendship poem about friends that come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

This poem offers a comforting freedom to accept and move through the challenges when friends move on and out of your life as you change, as they change, and as, well, life changes. It’s natural; we can’t hold on to everyone forever, and according to the poem, we aren’t supposed to. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean that the influence of the reasons and or seasons that we meet don’t become a permanent part of us. This is one way we grow into and out of ourselves.

In these instances, there usually is foreshadowed closure; the ending really not being an ending but more of a transition. There is something left when all is said and done that you can work to wrap your head around and build into your present and future self. Even if your friend disappears in the night, time telling reflections usually reveal motives and we can mindfully maneuver forward, better for that experience.

But what happens to the friendships that just stop? No reasons or seasons, or lifetimes; just an empty ending (a stop). Communication crashes into a wall you never saw being built, its door silently slammed and locked from the inside. There is no finishing or end to what was started, just what if / what happened wondering and a feeling of punishment versus closure and healing.

Once upon a time, in a land and a time that I still live in, I had a friend named X. For twenty something years, X and I would spend time only growing closer; our friendship even withstood me living in Champaign for ten years and in Colorado for five. He (was the only friend I had who) visited me in both places, and we even traveled to other places together.

It is safe to say that he was one of my favorite people in the world and that I love(d) him.

And then one day, X stopped returning my calls; wouldn’t see me, talk to me or even about me to anyone else. Our friendship just stopped, and to this day I don’t know why.

I was punched with worry and wonder about what I did wrong. For years I struggled with this loss – and that’s what it was – a loss. I couldn’t conceive what could have erased our twenty years. I can say with remorseful confidence that I was far from a perfect friend during that stage in my life; that maybe at times I wasn’t even good or honest. The last few years of our friendship (and some thereafter) I was quite a mess, so I can’t say for certain that I did or didn’t do anything awful.

To be clear: I am not making excuses; at this point in my life all I want to make is up, do right, and be better.

Ask anyone who had the (dis)pleasure to drown (aka hang out) with me during this time; to me it was like he died. Losing him from my life was that rough, and it took me a long time to get through (most of) the stages of grief. I can say for certain that full acceptance may never live here. Without an end, without an understanding of him as a reason, season, or lifetime, my everything for and about him lives locked in my heart’s purgatory.

I have friends who have experienced something similar, maybe to different degrees, but in the background you can hear the same song playing on radio silence for an unspoken reason. I write this to ask the silent to speak; I write this in an attempt to construct my own closure. I write this because if you want to stop a friendship, your friend deserves to know why and you deserve a chance to tell her why. If you really want to be over, then put action into it and end it versus just stopping it.

It’s been too many years and I still think of him often. I have started a letter to him many times, only to stop for the possibility that I will invade whatever peace he has now. If I hurt that bad, I imagine maybe he must have too.

So here I am, answering my own call to speak; not to forget, but maybe more to forgive (myself). Being better today than I was yesterday might just be posting this blog (which is turning into a letter that may never be sent, but at least words will have been said and read by someone[s]).

Friendships will end; stopping though steals your energy and robs you of your right to find good even in the bad experience. Stopping doesn’t clear your (heart and mind’s) side of the street the way an ending does. An ending on the better hand leaves no waste behind and provides a chance for you both to move on in a healthy, productive way.

I (will always) miss my friend. But I can’t carry this kind of weight on my journey and get much further. So today I decide that I will make my own (lifetime) lesson learned by forgiving myself. He stopped things, and I can’t change that. And even though I can’t qualify him as a reason, season, or lifetime, I can say that I am genuinely sorry for whatever may have happened, writing my own ending for some much needed closure. Hope is still lives here, and perhaps there is potential to start over as the new people we have probably both become. Maybe this door had to close for another to open; maybe someday he will visit me outside of my dreams.

So, until we (maybe) meet again….

My End.



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