I Mourn Alone

I recently lost a friend to mental illness. There will be no funeral and I am the only mourner. My grief is hidden in silence. In the blink of an eye I became dead to her and in that instant it is as if she died. She completely removed me and my family from her life: three years of friendship thrown out in one text. Who knew it could dissolve so quickly? In some ways the shock has not quite worn off and it hits me from time to time with a slap in the face, a catch in my breath, and subsequent sadness and numbness.

The waves of grief have somewhat lessened and I no longer sob uncontrollably when they come – drowning in a sea of tears and gasping for breath. I am able to stay quiet while the tears fall.

Life is more quiet with her gone: my text inbox no longer flooded with voice recordings on how terrible life is and the “I need a turn to be the center of the universe” rants. I no longer have to bite my tongue or diminish my own problems. Life is less dramatic. Does that mean I’m happy that she’s gone? No. Because to me it was worth it to be there for her and to see her through the tormenting waves crashing in on her. It was worth it to be a listening ear and, at times, to have one in return. It was a blessing to have my kids have another “Auntie”. So although life has changed with her gone it does not mean I’m OK with it.

It is difficult not to feel like a failure. What did I do wrong? How could I have done things differently? I know I am not the only one who has found oneself as collateral damage in the wake of dysfunction. It is certainly a part of the human experience. In desperation I turned to Google and, sure enough, a quick search online reveals resources for friends of people with mental illness. It is little comfort now as I can’t do anything more except wait and hope that someday she comes back.

Perhaps it was bound to happen at some point – this complete destruction of our friendship. I noticed an increasing pattern of her cutting people out of her life. We thought of each other as sisters and I fooled myself into thinking that I’d never be in her crosshairs.

The sapling of our friendship axed down in manic madness. She’s deaf to the world when she’s caught up in a hurricane of her own making. I guess we all are.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s