In the past few weeks, three people that I know have passed away. So I've been thinking a lot about death and loss and relationships. I admit that I haven't lost anyone that I saw regularly, so the losses in my life, while painful, have been easier for me to deal with. I haven't lost a parent or a best friend unexpectedly. And while I'm afraid it might sound callous, it's been easier for me to deal with the deaths of people I didn't see as often. It's easier to hold on to the good memories rather than constantly feel the loss of future memories. Sure, I miss people more when I'm at weddings and I know this would have been a big event, but the day to day life is easier to bear.
I've also been thinking about relationships that are lost for other reasons. Those have been much harder for me to deal with in my life. For example, I was very close to someone in college. Our relationship was probably too close, in truth. Our emotional lives kind of meshed together in a way that was kind of messy and not always good for us. But it ended up blowing up, kind of all of a sudden. I was very caught off guard by how things turned out, and I just couldn't process and adapt fast enough to accept changes that happened in my friend's life. I still feel a lot of grief over how our friendship ended. I feel bad for my part of not being able to sustain the friendship. Yeah, I'd be amenable to see if we could still be friends, but unfortunately, with the way things ended, I don't know how I'd even begin to approach this person. So much has happened, so much has changed. I do wish I could apologize, because I know there was a time in my life when I was a terrible friend to everyone around me. I was incredibly selfish, and even though I was going through a rough time, that was not an excuse for how I treated the people around me.
Another example is that I had a relationship that ended abruptly when I left school. It was a more professional, working relationship, but it was with a person I respected. Because of the suddenness of my departure from college, there were things that happened that still feel unfinished. I did not get closure on some pretty significant things, and I still struggle with my feelings about certain people, certain events.
As I think about the different loss and pain I've felt throughout my life, I think there is something so healing about finality. When someone dies, it's terrible and it hurts, but it's final. As time goes by, you learn to adapt and keep living your life. When you lose other relationships, whether with a friend, colleague, or (I'm assuming) a significant other, I think it's harder. It doesn't always feel final. I wonder if I should do something to mend the relationship, or if it's time to let it be. I wonder how the other person is doing, what's going on in their life. I wonder if they ever think of me, because I do think of them. I miss the good times. I'm sad for the ugly things that happened. I agonize because they are still out there living their lives, and I am living my life, and they are no longer connected.
Maybe it's more a question of forgiveness and letting go. When someone has passed away, you know there is no more chance for reconciliation or an apology. You kind of just have to let go. It's far easier (for me, anyway) to hold on to pain from someone still out there. Maybe someday, someone who hurt me will realize it, seek me out, and apologize. But that's not likely. I know I need to learn to forgive and let go even if I never get closure or an apology.
I know my thoughts aren't quite cohesive in this post, but I don't care. I start so many blog posts that I never get back to editing, so I'm trying to just write something and let it be, whether it's "perfect" or not.