My friend's 15 year old son took his life last week. The funeral was this Tuesday.
Disbelief. I just dreamed this. It isn't true. It can't be.
Horror. Horror that this could really happen.
Despair. This can't really happen. Nothing is right.
Helplessness. Couldn't something have been done? What went wrong? This needs to be fixed. But it's too late.
Anger. If he had waited 24 hours, he might have felt differently. A day, a few words, some comfort can make such a difference.
Incredible sadness and heartache.
One thing, among many - besides the fact that this was a young man taking his own life, that makes this so sad for me is the friendship I had with his mother mad fallen apart. And this reminds me of a friend who died last summer. Just a few years older than me. Another friendship that had fallen apart.
Am I a bad friend? I don't really think so. But I admit I have fragile outer shell. I'm weak. There are friendships that take so much energy and such a strong personality that I don't feel up to the task. I have, also, fought tooth and nail to keep a friendship together only to feel deeply betrayed so my defenses go up and I'm very hesitant. My family is my world, my religion, and I cannot tolerate them be dissected and criticized no matter what the other person's needs might be. I need peace, calm, stability. Fighting, discontent, upheavals, anger, harsh words destroy my peace and calm. And so... I ended the friendship. No words; I just disappeared from her life. I'm good at disappearing.
But the flip side of ending a friendship is the feeling helplessness at a time like this. At the funeral I hugged her, told her I was so very, very sorry for their loss, that I was holding her in my heart, that I loved her. It is all very true. My heart has ached every day for their loss. There has been no other death - not even my parents - that has affected me this deeply. I want to offer something, but I don't know how. Mentally I have drawn a circle of love around them - from a distance; mentally I hug them; mentally I send them my feelings.
But it doesn't feel enough. I know it's inadequate. I just feel guilty. My punishment for ending a friendship, and my punishment for not wanting to resurrect that friendship in a real life way. Maybe I just make a better spiritual friend than I do a real life one.