I said goodbye to a friend of mine last week. Her leaving is a good thing. She is going off to further her education and become an even more amazing person. I’m sad about her leaving but I’m also very happy for her. But our journey from friends to old acquaintances is not going to be an easy road.
It never has been for me.
Over the past forty-six years of my life I have tried to build barriers, walls so to speak, to keep me from becoming too attached to anyone in temporary existence we all share. Now, I know all the platitudes about how life is better with friends in it. But I find that the loss of a friend is almost as painful as losing a close relative. Actually in some cases it is more painful. To me at least.
For you see, with a relative, like an uncle, aunt or even cousin you rarely see and is only close to you by the blood that flows through your veins but never really has a close connection to you can’t become the festering open wound of someone you have shared your daily trials and tribulations with. I can’t remember the last time I shared advice with a family member but I can remember the last time I sat down and spoke openly, honestly and also, listened to my friend.
Which makes this parting tough.
For me at least.
I’ve had many friends throughout my life. Not as many as some and certainly not as many as I could have. Right now as a matter of fact I can think of five people in my life that I’m not related to that I have come to think of as close friends. One of whom I see maybe once a month and others I see even less often. Which for me, works. I don’t need to have constant communication with someone to consider them a friend. Hell, I’ve worked with some people for fourteen years and they still don’t know much about me and I don’t know much about them and honestly I don’t really care to.
Maybe it is a matter of chemistry of personality. Or maybe it is a prejudice against intelligence, or in some cases, for intelligence. I mean how can one truly relate to someone who you have nothing in common with and when you do speak with them you can’t understand why you spoke with them in the first place. I’ve tried to listen to some of these people but when they start talking about their problems, insights and ideas, all I see are solutions, faulty logic and something that has already been done. Is that wrong?
Am I, are we, as a collective human race supposed to be concerned with every myopic view out of every person’s mouth that comes our way? I don’t think so. I can’t imagine we are wired that way. How could we be? Sure, we can and should be concerned with the plight of the less fortunate in the world but do you or I seek out the company of people we have nothing in common with? I don’t think so. I couldn’t. Although I would love to see some of the Christian right attend a Death Metal concert and for that matter see some Death Metal bands attend a super church, or even a Baptist church.
No, we are not wired to be friends with everyone nor are we programed to be concerned with things we are not interested in. Point in fact, I can’t get my daughter to listen to almost any rock and roll and she can’t get me to listen to pop music. It’s all about interest and what speaks to our inner id.
When we do find someone we have a lot in common with, regardless of age, race or creed, we all try to hang on to that person in our lives. We look forward to moments where you can talk openly and honestly without judgment. When we lose someone like that, frankly, it hurts. It leaves a gap that you didn’t know you had before and one that won’t easily be filled. Something that I will not do. I won’t fill that gap. I will leave it open like all the others I have. It will become just another wrinkled and withering scar on my soul. It will help me grow in time. This I know. But for now, it is a painful reminder of what I once had.
Safe travels my friend.