Thursday, 29 April 2010 @ 12.12pm
I have never experienced a friend dying. I'm one of those people who have witnessed so many deaths but have never truly felt the loss of a loved one. The closest incident that I've experienced was when Steph's father passed away. But even that felt as though I was just an outsider looking in. I have never felt the pain and loss of a person's departure.
This morning, a colleague came into work late because her friend died. When she came in, she told me that she was shocked and had had no idea her friend had a brain tumour. And that her friend had said her 'goodbyes' at their last meet just last week. That's what she kept repeating.
"We didn't know. We just saw her last week."
Upon relaying this story to another colleague, her reaction was sadness mixed with anger. She told me stories of her own experiences of her own friends who failed to inform anyone of their sickness and being invited to their funerals by their husbands and family. She was sad because of the death but angry because her friend had failed to tell anyone of her illness. But she told me another story of another friend who knew he was dying, who had shared the illness with his friends, and who celebrated what was left of his life.
Is it fair for us to be upset with the people who left us behind so suddenly? Should we not just embrace the sadness instead? I don't think so. Friends are the family we create because it's with them that we can express ourselves without being judged by family members who have a certain idea of what and how they want you to be (unless you're lucky enough to have family who aren't judgemental). Friends are the ones who we can turn to if we're in trouble. Friends are there not just for entertainment, but a true friend is also there for the bad times too.
I understand how a person would want to hide their illness so it won't bother others, or so their friends won't treat them differently. But give your friend the benefit of the doubt. Don't keep something so huge that's happening in your life, because if you were to ever leave them behind, it's your loss that would shock and make them feel betrayed.
Life is short. Much too short. And I know that this has been said one too many times, but make the most of it. Appreciate what you have, because you never know what's going to happen next. But for those of you who do know, or who are hiding an illness, don't. You'll be surprised how supportive a friend can be and how much they can change your life. No matter how short or how long left you have.
"To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world." - Brandi Snyder