I am recently divorced. I have heard it said that losing someone to death is easier than losing someone to divorce. I believe that to be true. Don’t get me wrong, by no means do I think losing someone to death is easy. But in death, you never see that person again. And most likely your last encounter was amicable.
Not always the case in divorce.
If I could give one piece of advice to anyone in this life it would be NEVER, NEVER, NEVER do anything with the thought that you can get through it with the support of family and friends. You must do it on the assumption that you will have to do it alone. I thought my best friend of 15 years would be with me until one of us departed this life. I envisioned us in the nursing home together causing all kinds of chaos. I loved her like she was family. We were soul sisters. I had been there for her during an affair and eventual divorce. We were about as close as two could be.
So I thought.
About a year after I left my marriage, something changed. Our conversations became fewer and fewer. I saw her less and less. I started feeling like I was the only one making an effort. Over the years, we would “lose touch” occasionally since we both were mothers with young kids. But this time was different. I don’t know what it was, but I felt it. So I did something that I think I regret.
I quit contacting her.
I guess I saw too many things on Facebook and Pinterest that referenced something about distancing yourself from people. “If they care, they’ll notice. If they don’t, you’ll know where you stand.” And I realize that she could say the same thing about me. But I’m the one who is going through a tough time right now. Am I being selfish? Am I being self-centered? Perhaps I only wanted to know that I was still important to someone. I’ve always been a pretty tough cookie. Being married to my ex-husband taught me how to be. But maybe I needed the reassurance that someone still cared, that someone loved me enough to be there.
I’ve often wanted to send a text. “I miss you.” Maybe a card or an email. Maybe a phone call. But that would take true guts. Then there’s a voice that says, “she could reach out too.” Are we both being unbelievably stubborn? Maybe I don’t want to know the answer of why we lost touch. Was I being too needy? Was I being too bitter about my divorce? These are all questions I ask myself. Maybe she wasn’t the friend I thought she was.
One thing I can say that I’ve learned is not to rely on anyone else to be there. Even if you’ve been there for them. Just because you have done something for someone, doesn’t always mean they will return the favor. In the end, knowing I can make it through the some of the hardest times of my life thus far on my own, is a pretty good feeling. And perhaps, it’s making me even stronger!