The past few weeks have been transitional ones here, with the move to homeschooling two of the kids. I've been mostly in a good place of late, but I know that that's largely because I have just been too busy to think about how I'm feeling. Not that it's a bad thing, to be honest. I tend to go down the rabbit hole when met with idle time.
The last couple of days, there has been something unsettled in my heart. A familiar, but uncomfortable feeling, one that I know well. Had I really looked at the calendar, I would have realized why.
It's been four years, today.
Four years since I received a phone call that told me she was gone.
Four years now without my friend.
If I'm being completely honest with myself, I wasn't nearly as good a friend to her as I should have been, as I needed to be, especially those last weeks and months. The last time she and I talked, really talked, she'd nudged me along the sidelines of a soccer game on an unusually cold morning and spoke with an urgency I should have recognized, that I did recognize but was refusing to see reflected in my own reality.
I was in too bad of a place myself to be the friend I should have been, and I carry that regret with me to this day. I haven't forgiven myself for it yet. She'd tell me to.
I wish I'd have reached out to her more, I wish that I'd have let her in more. I wish that I'd allowed myself to be vulnerable, I wish I'd told her that I understood things more than I'd ever let on. I wish.
Wishing doesn't bring her back.
Wishing doesn't give me that morning again.
Wishing doesn't remove that phone call from my life, from the days and weeks that followed, from the long goodbyes to someone gone too soon.
There are people out there that placate those in grief with trite words like everything happens for a reason, as though there would ever be a reason for the world to lose someone as amazing as she was.
She was a unique and beautiful force in this life.
She taught me so many things in the years that I shared on this planet with her. She taught me kindness, she taught me patience. She taught me organization, she taught me how to celebrate. She taught me to keep laughing even when it hurts and she taught me grace for all the moments when the laughter won't come.
There are still times that I will be out somewhere and I'll hear a laugh that faintly resembles hers and I'll think for a moment that maybe she's there.
She is still here in a way, in the gifts she left behind, in the lessons she taught so many of us.
It's not the same though. It never will be.
I miss you, my dear friend, and I love you.
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