If you follow this “blog” or are even a person who just checks it on occasion, you have probably noticed that most of the things I put here are not really “bloglike”. Obviously most of my posts are inspired from events in my life, but I don’t usually just write about them. There’s the poetry and creative writing, but not a lot that is simply me journaling directly about the things going on around me and how I am affected by them. But right now, today, I have the need to blog about a particular event.
This event, this horrible, tragic occurrence is lingering in my brain and it is something that I just don’t have the words for. It keeps popping up at strange random moments, and each time it does, I am moved to tears. But what do I really have to say about it? What can I possibly say that will do it proper justice? It’s one of those things that when I think about writing about it, I want it to be a special kind of beautiful, and something like that is sometimes weeks and months in the making. Yet I have this underlying need to tell the world how I feel about it right now, today, without waiting for the perfect words or for it to meet the high standards I set for myself. No, I think in this case I am just going to have to sacrifice one need for another, even greater need…
I recently sat across the table from a friend of mine, and we were discussing relationships. How we sometimes treat complete strangers with more respect than those who are close to us. We open doors, use polite words like “please” and “thank you”, and even extend an offer of help in certain circumstances. Why then, do we get to a place where it is OK to ignore these niceties with those we love? Is it because we have grown into a place of comfort with them, that we know with them we will be given more leeway because of the nature of our relationship? But does this make it OK? I think not.
He then said something like, “We should treat these people as if it were the last time we will ever see them, because you never know when life will take them away”… Not in those exact words, but you get the idea. And that is when I had one of those moments that I had to hold back the tears, because it made me think about Kristy.
The last time we spoke was about two years ago, and to be completely honest I don’t even remember what we said to each other. At the time, I had a lot going on in my life, moving out of my house, filing for divorce, and basically from day to day my greatest concern was to keep my head above water and try to make things as “normal” as I possibly could for my children. When it came to most of my relationships, at the time, I sort of just took them for granted. Trusted that they would still be there when the dust settled, but in Kristy’s case, when all was said and done I did not seek to re-kindle our friendship.
Now here it is, two years later and I get a call from out of the blue from another friend of mine letting me know that she is gone. Not gone as in moved away, but gone as in no longer alive on this earth. I thanked my friend for letting me know, and then I immediately sought to find out more information about the circumstances from other mutual connections. Though the details are kind of sketchy, the truth of what happened feels very clear to me. I say “feels”, because I don’t really know. In any case, the fact of the matter is that she is gone, and I will never have an opportunity to speak with her again. I will never again be able to look upon her beautiful smile or enjoy the whimsical side of her personality. The use of that word “never”, conjures strong feelings of sadness, longing, and even regret, that are almost impossible to quell.
I have so many feelings about this situation, that it is hard to put them in order and everything I feel leads me down a different path of what I should do next. I want to reach out to the people without whom I never would have known her and try and re-connect with them. I want to be able to use this tragedy to bring about a positive change among us. While it is true that we sometimes “wish life did not have to change so much”, it is also true that we do not have to let change (or the past) get in the way of what could be a wonderful future.
I want to let her family know how special I think she was, and then second guess myself on that because I am sure they already know. It also seems a bit hypocritical for me to make such statements to the people who were truly close to her because if I had cared a little more, then why did I not speak to her, or even make an attempt to contact her in the last two years. Why indeed?…
This line of thinking leads me down a tricky path that is riddled with regret. Regret for letting what I don’t really know dictate my choices. Regret for not being a better friend in the face of difficult times. And if I am being completely honest, such a heavy amount of sorrow, having this happen for a second time in my life, that I feel like I, of all people, should know better than to let things go too long. It is impossible for me to think about this happening with Kristy without thinking of Stacey. Such a completely different set of circumstances, yet so very much the same in so many ways.
In truth, as I sit here sobbing, it is in large part due to that which happened over 9 years ago now. Stacey died in May of 2002, too young, and with so many wonderful years ahead of her. It is a cross I still bear, which no amount of time will ever take away. Over the years, the burden has become lighter, but this most recent event has brought all the feelings I have about her back into the foreground. I know I can not go back in time to alter either of these events, but that does not prevent my mind from lingering in the past and toiling over all the “what-ifs”.
Eventually (and hopefully writing this will help) I will come out of this fog of feelings and back to the place of logic and reason where I am most comfortable. When I do, I am sure that it will be clear that the best thing I can do with all that has happened is to try to learn from it, to grow as a person, and use it as a motivator to continue to seek to make a positive impact on the world around me. I also hope to never take the people I love for granted. See, there is that word “never” again. I guess it’s not so bad if used in the right context.
I will end now by opening a metaphorical door for you by saying “thank you” for listening, and by asking “what can I do for you today?”. Please don’t hesitate to respond…
Hugs and Kisses,