I’m sitting on my couch. It’s a Sunday afternoon. It’s the kind of weekend afternoon where nothing has to be done . . . no errands, no chores, no places we have to be. It’s a wonderful, relaxing day. Days like this end too quickly.
On days like today I like to get in my comfies and just hang out with my husband and son. We watch movies, nap, play, and just all-around do nothing except enjoy our day together being a family. It’s wonderful. Tomorrow I will be back to work where were are short 3 people of our 5-person on-air staff. Tomorrow I will return to stress and 12-hour days. But today there is only joy.
I just finished watching the movie, “Life of Pi.” It’s a wonderful movie. Today was the first time I had seen it. Near the end of the movie the main character says something along the lines of, “it was the not saying goodbye that was the hardest thing.” That is not a direct quote, but you get the point. That one little statement made by a fictional character in a movie as he talks about a Bengal tiger basically summed up the basis for my anger, resentment, and broken heart the last several weeks, and especially in the last several days.
7 years ago I met a man who would come to be my best friend. He and I saw each other through problems with relationships and family, heartbreak, sadness, job changes, my salvation and his, fights, laughter, tears . . . everything that a friendship can experience, we did. One month ago that all came to an end when I was completely shut out. I had no forewarning. It was not discussed with me. I was simply informed by him that I was no longer a part of his life in any kind of personal capacity.
Then this past Wednesday he came back from his lunch. He typed an email, hit send, and walked out. The email was his immediate notice to terminate his employment with the company.
I never got to say goodbye.
I was never given the opportunity to say goodbye to the 7 years that we were friends. I never got to say goodbye to the times that I cried on his shoulder or he cried on mine. I never got to say goodbye to all the times we were doubled over in stomach-aching laughter. I never got to say goodbye to all the times that we went to each other for advice or to share a life experience. I never got to say goodbye to my brother in Christ. I never got to say goodbye to a friendship that started on a Saturday with the question, “you like DCI, too?” I never got to say goodbye to the friend that I spent seven years making memories with. It was a death of sorts. The friendship was brought to an unexpected and abrupt end. It died. I never got to say goodbye. Anyone who has ever dealt with a death knows that saying goodbye is a very important step in the mourning process. Those who don’t get to say goodbye experience a much longer mourning period.
Wednesday I was hurt, brokenhearted. I couldn’t think of him without crying. How could he be so selfish?
Thursday I was angry. I couldn’t think of him without cursing him. How could that selfish asshole be so callous and disrespectful, not just of me but of everyone else at the station?
Friday I was pissed. I couldn’t think of him without wanting to punch him in the face. I couldn’t think of any memory from the past seven years and find even a speck of happiness. It was no longer, “how could that selfish asshole . . . ” On Friday it was, “I hope that selfish asshole someday is so convicted of the pain and hurt that he inflicted that is kills his heart completely.” I was in an exceptionally ugly mental place on Friday. I spent the day purging him from the radio station. It felt good to remove him from my life. But there is one place that I will never be able to remove him from . . .
Memories . . .
Today, I am still hurt. Today my heart is still broken. Today I am not angry that I wasn’t given the opportunity to say goodbye. I know that I will never get that opportunity, and there is nothing I can do about it. That opportunity was not missed by my choice. It was taken away from me by a person that cared more about himself than the way his actions would hurt those affected by his actions.
Tomorrow I may be angry again. Walking into that station in the morning and seeing his empty office may rip the scab off the wound. Today though I have not accepted, but I am not angry at him. Today I am not ready to let go of my hurt from this situation, but I am not controlled by it. Today I can look back at events from the past seven years and smile. Tomorrow I may again want to punch him in the face, but today I hope he is happy with himself, with his life, and with the possibilities of his future. Today I hope he has found the peace in his life that on Wednesday he had quite obviously lost. Today I will start the process of saying the goodbye that I was unable to say last week. Today I will start the process of building a future without my friend, despite the last seven years spent thinking he and I would be friends forever.
Unbeknownst to me, but always known to God, my friend was just a season in my life. He and I were brought together seven years ago to serve a purpose in each others lives. I don’t know what that purpose was. I may never know what my purpose in his life was, or his purpose in my life. God alone knows that. Any feelings I have right now in relation to his abrupt departure will be dealt with over time, and the wounds will heal. No matter what anger may be at the forefront of my heart, I will never regret the last seven years. I will never regret the smiles, laughter, tears, hugs, jokes, nicknames, support, encouragement, and growth that we experienced because of each other. It did not end the way that I would have preferred, but I have seven year of memories that will always make me smile.
Until next time . . .