A university friend of mine passed away a few days ago, and it’s taken me a few days to process it. Cancer; it had been known for quite a while, and he had been in hospice for a bit. So not sudden, and not astonishing.
But it took me two or three days to really let it sink in. Not a close friend, but a lost opportunity, I think, for a close friendship. Driven by geography and a natural inclination to be a bit of a hermit.
So I’m trying to figure out how to come out of this with something better. I know that I wish I’d been a better friend. I know that I should be… friending more gooder. But I’m not sure what that means. And at the end of the day, I’m not sure if I’m good at friendship.
Sometimes I’m not sure I know what friendship is.
I have a wide circle of good acquaintances, and some people I really get along with, but I don’t know that I have, like, that cinematic idea of a friend in terms of somebody I hang out with a lot. Share intimate secrets with. All that stuff. I go running with a friend. I stay in touch with people I used to play role-playing games with. I know people from university. I get along well with people I work with and volunteer with.
So I’m trying to wrap my head around this idea that I need to make a very sad thing less sad by making it worth something. That something is being a better friend to people. But actually enacting that is something I don’t really have an intuitive grasp on.
Mourning means building, for me, in some important ways.
I guess I just want to know that I’m making a terrible thing mean something. Figuring out what that meaning is, and how I can actually do it, is going to take a while.