Losing A Friend
August 27, 2012 § 3 Comments
I lost my best friend in Ghana this past week. It’s really humbling and jarring to find you’ll no longer have this person in your life again. I have yet to experience what it’s like to lose a loved one (in death) so close to you, so forgive me for even the mere consideration, but I wonder if losing a friend and knowing he/she is alive and well but completely inaccessible forever is worse than the reality about a dearly departed. I’m a bit numb about it all. I keep looking down at the keyboard because I can’t feel the keystrokes. This is a lil’ departure from what I usually pontificate about my life in Ghana, but sitting in bed starring out into the darkness of the room with an endless stream of disjointed thoughts none of which explains my reality isn’t any helpful, so it’s back to the safety of my diary.
I made a terrible and very regrettable mistake. It won’t help making this a heaping confession for your eyes or to feed our natural penchant for the juicy details about the dark and normally inaccessible crevasses of other people’s lives, so I won’t go there. But I did lose a great friend, a new friendship, and a relationship I always imagined will meld so well with the long-standing ones of best friends and immediate family. I know I’m being vague, but this is as much as I can muster for even a diary (and one that’s not so private), so bear with me.
What I’m struggling with… or at least one of the things I’m struggling with is how we can so easily lose our way even when our intuition and every single cell of our being rings warning bells. I’ve always prided myself in being level-headed, having what I imagined as a fairly resolute moral compass (which sometimes doubled as a platform from which to judge those flaw and corrupted), and being very considerate about others’ feelings often to points where I’m left vulnerable and open to being hurt. But today, somehow a few innocuous words and very regrettable missteps ended a friendship. I know…vague, but plug in your own variables in your own imaginative way (but don’t be so quick to render judgment) and apply whatever scenarios you come up with to fit my misery.
Two weeks ago, I was confronted with what initially seemed an innocent problem; a cute and yet embarrassing confessional by my friend at the end of a drunken stupor. As flattering as this confession was, it seemed completely out of character for this person, something neither of us ever expected to hear, and one I was quick to passively dismiss as yet another reason people shouldn’t drink. That was the end of that from my perspective that night. Yet, it really wasn’t, and instead of confronting it head-on and giving it a quiet end, I consciously acknowledged its flattery while subconsciously dismissing its potential ramifications. Along a rather short way, something that was supposed to be silly turned from something like a paper cut, to a sore which festered, metastasized into an incurable cancer in our relationship, and has now concluded in something akin to a lethal injection.
So… why or how do we lose our way when our able bodies and intelligent minds should easily discern what should be the right (and only) way to go when we’re confronted with simple moral and ethical problems. Why didn’t I coldly and nicely reject a flattering comment from the wrong person? Why did Bill allow the Monica saga to even begin when he of all people knew the ramifications of every misstep from that first smile from her to the bad thoughts of its potential from him? Why do we make comments or take actions we should know before hand that we cannot take back? No one with a sound mind makes a conscious decision to maim himself so why do we do so when it comes to those emotional, or morally and ethically-based situations? Is it the sense that the physical self isn’t injured that we allow things like the potential of losing best friends to happen? We’re the only animals that go where we know there’s potential danger. Is this human condition what separates us from other animals…that we’re of bountiful intelligence to do stupid things? I hope someday I can atone for my inability to protect a friendship from its doom and the pain that we’re all suffering.