An old boo of mine called around 1:00 AM Monday morning. It took a while for it to actually register who was calling when I saw the name because it’s been a few years since we actually had a conversation outside of occasional texts and tweets. Pleasantly surprised, I answered after realizing it was him. We filled each other in on life since the split and exchanged memories and laughs. He said he had spent the day calling people because a friend of his that we went to college with had just died in a car accident. I was able to relate because a college friend of mine had also died in a car accident the week prior.
While I was happy to hear from him, I was saddened by the past memories of loss it triggered to resurface later that day while at work. When he and I dated in college, we both lost dear friends. I’ll never forget him calling me in the still-dark hours of morning, hysterical that his friend had just been murdered while they were partying at a local club. I didn’t know what to say and my heart sobbed knowing that he was in such pain and there was nothing I could do to alleviate it. All I could do was listen and tell him it would be okay because as bad as I felt for him, I couldn’t really relate—until about a year later.
Senior year of undergrad, my close girlfriend Kimberly became extremely sick. Not realizing at first just how bad it was, I didn’t even consider death an option because I figured she would get better and I’d have my friend back in perfect health. We had made plans a few weeks prior to get up when she and I were home from college. So when her health started getting progressively worse, I became worried and paranoid.
I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so hard in my life. Her cousin, who’s also my line sister, would update me on Kimmy’s status and every time she said “not so well,” I grew more paranoid. I didn’t know how to handle it, so I just kept saying over and over that she would be okay. I continued my days as normal and pushed the thought of losing Kim to the farthest place from my reality. The day she died, something in me already knew what I feared most would soon happen. I literally prayed myself to sleep, begging God to spare her life and use the experience as a testimony.
When I woke up the next day, to my despair, I found out that Kim was already gone. She had been breathing what would be her last breaths at the same time I stayed up praying until my body shut down. I screamed and cried and was beyond furious with God for taking her. Confronted with a moment of denial, I wrote my Kimmy-pooh a Facebook message hoping that she would respond. But she never did. No pain that I had ever experienced in all years prior to that moment could even compare.
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When I was finally able to reflect on the loss without breaking down, I realized that my heartbreak and fury was not only a result of a dead friend, but also the forced realization that youth doesn’t make you invincible and death cares not about age; it was scary.
I lost all but one grandparent prior to that and while those experiences too weighed heavily on my heart, it was somewhat expected as they had all lived full, blessed lives. With Kim and most recently my girl Mariah, it was an unforeseen blow to the heart that I wasn’t prepared to receive.
After talking to my ex, I couldn’t help but recall those moments of grief. It was made all the more clear that our time is unknown. On the positive side of things, I’m reminded to forgive my enemies, to love my friends and family, to cherish my good moments, to learn from my misfortunes and most importantly, to just live in a peaceful and whole space.
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Have you lost a friend? Was there anything else from your grief that you were forced to accept in addition to the passing of your friend? Feel free to share with your fellow beauties!
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