The grieving process includes 5 steps to it: Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. & Acceptance.
As a therapist, I fancy myself on having practiced, with discipline, good stress management skills. But honestly- I don't think anyone is equipped to deal with major and/or sudden loss like this. If you read Part I and II then you know by now I am talking about losing two of my really good guy friends due to gun violence, and unfortunately my friend Chris P.'s death has yet to be solved. The family is now offering a cash reward for any substantial information related to Chris's passing. With so many emotions in 2018 it made my loss, I think, greater because in the midst of dealing with the death of two friends, I found myself having to let go of a third friendship.... one of my best (girl) friends to date.
To this day, we still don't talk, but we still follow each other on social media. Masochistic or Nostalgic? Nevertheless, this is how I am getting through losing three of the most influential friendships I have had. Period.
So, it took me a while to come to terms with the fact that me and my best friend were growing a part. Here are the signs (that it took me a while) to realize..
You Stop Sharing Secrets
You Found Out Through Social Media that a Major Event Happened
Unreasonably Choosing Their Significant Other Before You
They Start Showcasing Friends You Two Used to Talk About Together
They Don't Come To Your Defense..... Or Come To Your Birthday Party, or any other Celebration (They Stop Saying HBD Altogether)
You All Don't Text... At All or If You Do...You Texted First & The Conversation Went Stale
Time Has Passed & You Don't Pick Up Where You Left Off.. You Two Haven't Fixed Anything
Others Still Wonder What/Why You Both Don't Hang Like Ya'll Used Too
You All See Each Other... & The Hugs Are Awkward, No Pleasantries or Introductions.
I've realized the hardest part of letting go, is that fact that I absolutely have no idea why me and her are no longer friends. I made my apologies, gave her time, and then tried to organically "just hang," but the truth of the matter is... we are no longer friends anymore.
Every time I lost a friend in death last year, I started over with the grieving process. Honestly, I think I still go through periods of Denial.. though Anger, Depression and Acceptance, in that order.. are always nearby...
I'm still in disbelief, and sometimes I just try not to think about it. Plans are left unfinished, conversations left open-ended, and goals and milestones left unaccomplished. Denial. Not understanding makes me frustrated and confused. Anger. Then I get sad thinking of the things in life we won't have the chance to share with one another.
Even now, I'm tearing up.... because I can still hear and see us all laughing together, and know and hope that in my memory is where those times will always stay. Depression.
Then comes Acceptance. I am working on that... everyday. Striving to be the best version of myself that I know they saw in me before I could see it in myself. All of them- the friendships I lost- have inspired me to write, publish Sensually Clear, model, simply all out chase my dreams, to be unafraid of this life, and to share my gifts, laughter, and smiling face with the world.
So, though I can never repay them, I am forever grateful to all of them. Thank You. Acceptance.
They say "Loving Someone Is A Violent Act"- Unknown. I unfortunately finally understand that expression. But it wouldn't be better to not have loved them... "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel."- Maya Angelou