A friend called yesterday to tell me that her boyfriend had passed away. I guess I should tell you first that we’re not close friends, but when we are together there’s a sort of energy and an amazing level of trust that we’re able to talk about all kinds of stuff. One day I told her how I lost Scott. She was near tears and said (like most people do when I tell them) that she couldn’t imagine loosing her partner.
And yesterday she called to tell me that she had lost him.
She called me because she wanted to talk to someone who’d experienced that sort of loss, that end of the world-ness, that complete end to a future once planned, that dream-like feeling that comes in the hours and days after someone dies, that complete confusion and uncertainty, that wanting to talk but not knowing what to say.
I did the best I could. I tried to tell her what might have helped me when Scott died. I told her that this is not okay, that things are not going to be–will never be–okay. I told her it’s okay to cry and cry and cry, to scream and break things. I told her it’s okay to feel crazy, to feel like all she can do is cry, to let everyone else take care of normalcy for now.
And I wonder now if that’s the right thing. It felt terrible to tell her the truth, but, looking back on it all now, I wish someone had told me that it’s okay to scream. I never did. I wish someone had told me it’s okay to break things. I never did. I wish someone had told me it’s okay to cry forever rather than telling me that it’s going to be okay. Things will never, ever be okay. Not for me, and likely not for my friend.
I wanted to go to her, to take her kleenex and tea. But she had tucked herself in and there was nothing I could do.
“Bummer,” someone told me when I relayed the news that my friend had lost the love of her life.
This is not a bummer. This is a fucking tragedy.
There was nothing I could do but come home and cry, for her, for Scott, for me. Nothing I could do but think how fucked up it all is, how fucked up it is that life can be perfect one day and hell the next, that things can, in an instant, crumble. That what we’re sitting on is not gravel, but shale and we’ve no idea how or when our foundations will give way. Yet somehow we’re able to walk around feeling secure until everything falls apart. And I thought about how fucked up it is that no one really understands unless they’ve experienced it themselves. And I thought about how I understand and I hate that I understand and I want to wrap myself in a ball with everyone who does understand and cling to them forever and ever.