I am always learning to let go. I am always learning to let go without any sense of closure. It happened with my family. It’s happened with jobs. It just happened with my therapist. (I think I’m still a little mad about this one.) And it is now happening with some of my friendships. People say they want to keep in touch, but then they don’t. And I put forth a valiant effort. I go many extra miles to nurture the relationship…until the day I realize that I am the only one trying, and what is a priority for me is a pastime for them. Then begins the long, slow process of grieving and letting go. I have a few solid friends, but most folks are like fleeting New England fog. They float in, they linger, and they disappear. And I am standing there wondering why everything looks different now.
You know, the thing about people is that they are irreplaceable. So, you could lose 10 people, gain 40 new people, and you have still lost 10 people. Like, no matter how many new people come along, it is no recompense. I truly feel the empty spaces. It’s like my heart runs its fingers in the dusty indentations of my life where beloved friends used to be…reminiscing on the shape of their presence, missing their particular magic.
My melancholia is sort of embarrassed to be here and just sweeps through my days, trying to remain unnoticed. But I notice. I notice the grief. I notice the loneliness. It’s so rare that anyone calls/texts/emails just to say hello and hear how I’m doing. Everybody has shit going on–I get it. But you have time for whatever you make time for. And I guess I just wish that the people who I came through for, who I cared about, and who professed to care about me would simply make time.
I think it might just be me. I mean what I say. I say what I mean. I open my heart. I show up. I do the things that feel right to do when you love and care about people. And people seem shocked, even put off, by this.
A reasonable response seems to be to make new connections here. But in a few years, when I leave this place, I will go through this same quiet, clumsy, sad process of letting go of ephemeral relationships that I wish would crystallize instead of evaporate.
Perhaps I do not leave the same indentations on others’ lives; there is nothing to remember or miss. There is no residue of my presence. Maybe all that I give to others should be reserved for me. Love, nurture, and support myself. I know for sure I would appreciate it and reciprocate it.