I'm having a bit of a dilemma right now. My heart is so incredibly heavy with sadness for something that has happened to a dear friend of mine. So heavy, in fact, that I feel a bit speechless, so I'll try to word this as best I can.
I'm almost at month two of the day we lost dad. It's hard to believe really, because it is still as fresh on my mind as the day it happened. That said, a dear and wonderful friend experienced a similar tragedy at the same time and has since had it happen again. Though I definitely can relate, I can't begin to understand how he is feeling. I do know that when you experience loss, it changes you, maybe a little, or maybe a lot. It's happened to me several times in 24 years and I can pinpoint the ways I've changed each time.
The thing that's made it bearable every single time though, are those that have helped me through it. My family has always been incredible in terms of providing support, but at an age where many of my friends are experiencing their first few years of true adulthood and independence, I have found that my friends who continue to surround me are the ones that are the most uplifting. The friends that realize you don't grieve someone in a couple days or even a couple months are the ones that are truly amazing. I know it is hard to understand certain things until they've happened to you, whether it be disease, loss, heartbreak, addiction, whatever. The amazing thing though, is to have the people around you that possibly don't understand the experience, but just know that it's important to be a friend and supporter. The ones that do this, not just the day and week after, but months and years after are the ones of true character and compassion. They understand that the memory of a loved one or a struggle you've faced never really goes away, no matter how long it's been.
So here's to the friends that God has placed in each of our lives to step in as our family away from home. Here's to the friends that get us, even when we're not ourselves. And here's to the friends that have inspired me to be the type of friend I want to be to others.
"So hold tight, this is not a fair fight..." -The Fray