Gregger’s death impacted every aspect of my life. Me. Of course. One minute. A wife. The next. A widow. (Ugh. Who would have thought?) Single parent (Really?). My kids. Fatherless. My family. Parents. Siblings. Nieces. Nephews. All impacted. All changed. Empty space. Cracked. Broken.
And friends. What about friends? Where were they? Some. Rushed to my side. Others. Cowered. Fear? Maybe. Death. Changes things. Grief. Changes things. Friendships. Relationships. Contacts. Some who were forefront, faded. Disappeared. Others who had drifted were front and center.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
I learned. True friends are those who offer support, love, compassion and understanding when they don’t really understand. They are just there. (I would name each and everyone of you if I could. I hope you know who you are.) They come. They stay. To sit in the silence. To talk. To cry. To hold my hand. Or just do nothing. Just be. But they show up. Day after day. Week after week. And I know we’ll be there for each other. People come in and out of our lives. It happens. But in times of loss, we need our “people” most. And those who stay for the long haul, those are the “real” ones. They let you talk about the happy times. Loss. Memories. They are present. I lost MY BEST friend. The friend I believed would be by my side forever. We shared everything. We were ONE. When Gregger left this earth I felt like half my soul left too. I never needed to surround myself with “people.” I wasn’t a “girl’s girl.” Not big on “out to lunches.” No “girl trips.” I had Gregger. But suddenly I was alone. Moving. New city. New life. Now what? I had to break the barriers. Open my soul. Let people in. And soon I discovered the true value of friendship. Those who are there to protect. Listen. Pick me up when I’m ready to fall. I am forever grateful to my friends who bring sunshine to the cloudiest of days. They are slowly filling empty spaces in my heart. I hear it beating once again.
Writing has opened other avenues. Connecting me with people who touch my life. My heart. Old friends. New friends. Strangers. But we are bound by the commonality of emotions. Stirred by loss. Death. Divorce. Detachment. All loss. Maybe different types of grief. But grief, nonetheless. Pain. Heartache. And learning to move on. We are here. To Live. And we will. One day. At a time.