I’ve been thinking about my friend who passed away a lot lately. I can’t exactly say why or explain, but I don’t have to.
That was something we had. We could go a long time without talking or checking in, but thanks to social media, we always knew what was going on. We could send a short “hi” and knew what it meant. We were the type of friends who just needed a look when we were together to know what the other was thinking.
It drove people around us crazy, usually.
And lately, I find myself snorting to myself or rolling my eyes at the thought of my friend seeing a post of mine, or looking at Pinterest. Just to know she was out there watching was some sort of comfort then, and now I suppose it’s all different.
I’m feeling unsettled.
When you have a friend you’ve kept since childhood, there’s a bond. A bond that is unexplainable. This person knows your family. Has seen and grown with you. Has known family struggles, what you have gone through encompassing everything that involves the person you become as an adult. Mistakes, secrets, regrets, high school malaise.
Regardless of what they think of you in the now, they have known you more than any friends you make as an adult. There’s no replacement for that.
Crystal and I were not close adult friends, but we knew we would always be there for the other regardless. I did not agree with many of her adult choices, but it didn’t change the person I grew up with. That person who was always looking out for me… even if it was just to judge my outcome. She was still there. Bitching at me or sarcastically giving backhanded compliments, she was there the whole time she was doing it.
Dysfunctional as it sometimes was, it’s a relationship I no longer have. It’s a relationship that was taken without my say or decision.
I can’t say why I’m feeling it especially lately. I was doing well despite a visit last month to Vegas where she lived. In less than two weeks i’ll be taking a surprise trip with my mom and my two kids to Disneyland. Disneyland is a place with many memories of my friend. We had annual passes one year. She let me tag along with her and her then boyfriend. Disneyland was what she chose to do instead of a Bachelorette party.
She knew all the secret ways to get from one land to another. She had a freakish memory for the map of the place. She read many books on the ‘secrets of Disneyland’ and the dark stories of the place. She loved it.
Perhaps it has to do with lighting that spark for my own new generation in my children. It’s something she wont see or hear about. It’s something she wont be able to roll her eyes and comment on when i inevitably post my vacation pics to Facebook.
She hasn’t been able to comment on my Pinterest board about tips and tricks of the place. She hasn’t emailed me to make plans to maybe get together for a quick hello while i’m there.
She just ‘isn’t’ anymore and that makes me so sad.
In a way, some say she’s still watching over me and ‘with me’ but it’s not the case. She isn’t. She’s moved on to wherever her happiness was finally found in the afterlife. That is the only comfort anyone who knew her and her family’s story can find. After her brother and then father passed away, she was more unhappy and lost than ever. To have a family broken and split that way must really take a toll and i’m sorry there was never anything i could do to help her work through that. I lost my father over a decade ago and from time to time she’d get in touch with me just to talk about that shared experience. I like to think it eased some of her pain. To have someone understand what it’s like to go through losing a parent while you’re in it is beyond value.
It’s as if i’ve had a tether to my past that I can tug on whenever I need to and get grounded. It brought me back to where i’ve come from and show me where i’m at now. I was tethered to a person who knew more about me than most people. That tether is severed and at times I find myself feeling like i’m floating helplessly. It’s lonely and it’s scary. Eventually i’ll adjust and realign myself, but until then i’m feeling a little lost and sad without her.
For the hundredth time.. goodbye Crystal. I hope you’re at peace.