So I know I have spoken about this before, but when your person dies a whole lot of things that you have never considered before change in a massive way. There are the obvious things – your person is gone and you are on your own. You may or may not need to (or choose to) move out of your home. Your financial situation changes…. all kind of obvious when you stop to think abut it. But there are other things that change that you can’t prepare for, and the biggest one for me has been the changes to my friendship groups. I have touched on the friends thing previously, and then again a little bit last week, saying how nice it was to have an evening out and fit some of my old friends with the new, and how easy they made it and how relieved I was about it. I meant it to be more or less a passing comment, but I have had a couple of people ask me about it, so I figured it needs talking about. I’m not sure if my explanation will make sense, but here goes….
Since Claytie died, I have found that a lot of my old friends have run screaming for the hills, at a pace that if it hadn’t hurt so much should be admired for its speed. They are people that I have been friends with for more than 15 years – probably closer to 20. We would see each other if not weekly then at least fortnightly. We did all kinds of things together and I would have thought that would count for a lot more than it did. It seems I was wrong. Others, also long time friends, have changed a whole lot in their interactions with me. Contact has drifted, and often unless I instigate it, I will not hear from them for a long time. It is hard to carry on one sided relationships, and its hard knowing how long to try for. I don’t want to be the person that gives up, but I also don’t want to be the only one working for it.
Once you are in this situation of having lost your person, and are talking to others who are also on this journey, you find out that this is kind of a common theme. No-one really seems to have a proper answer as to why this happens, other than people don’t know how to respond to your grief. I try to accept that as an answer, but it does rub me up the wrong way a little bit. We are all struggling with different things but surely we are all able to be kind and genuine. I know that you can’t do anything to make my situation better – you can’t bring Claytie back. That is not what I need from you! I need for you to not make it worse. I need for you to not add another layer of grief to this horror show by walking away when I need support. I don’t care if you don’t have the right words to say – there are no right words in any case. I need you to sit with me, to have my back like I would have yours. I need to know that some things in my world are able to stay the same when everything else has changed so much. I need you to be my friend, to be the person that I knew before while I try to figure out how to do this part of my life.
I am not placing all of the blame onto these people, that wouldn’t be fair… I know I am a different person to who I used to be and I know that is an adjustment for all of us – trust me I get it – I am adjusting too! But I am also not THAT different! I am still Robbie…. The person you have known for such a long time is still there, and the things that are different are surely not that bad! I understand that grief is difficult for everyone, and sometimes it is hard to know what to say – I have those same struggles too…. but I am not just my grief! I still laugh, we all know I have always cried – that absolutely hasn’t changed! I still live in the same place and I have lots of stories to tell about all kinds of things… I am interested and interesting (at least I think so?!). Yes I have made a whole lot of new friends, but that does not mean I have forgotten (or don’t need) the old!
I am so very grateful to those of my friends that have stayed the same, that don’t see me any differently, that treat me the same as always . – Ironically some of them are also the ones that were asking what I meant in my post last week. They are the ones that are journeying with me through the changes, that accept me for who I was and who I am now learning to be. They are learning as much about all of this as I am. They keep me grounded and they help me to process the changes that are happening. They are the ones that I am so incredibly relieved to have and beyond grateful for in all of this. Without them this horrible shit show would be so much harder. I have tried to accept that the ones who have left had their own reasons for doing that, and it’s ok and I’ll try to stop bringing it up so much because it only makes me sad! I keep reminding myself of that saying about friends coming into your life for a reason, a season or a life time. I guess they were there for a season, and I have learned a lot from them, each in their own way.
Not everyone is meant to journey with you every step of the way – that is not how life works and I do understand that. It has just been a unexpectedly harsh shock to the system to feel these peripheral losses on top of the big one. It is all an adjustment, and this post is not meant to be attention seeking or needy, but rather an explanation of what I’m feeling. I love all of the delightful people who are in my world, keeping me this side of sane (I know I’m funny!!) I am lucky and grateful that you put up with me! Thanks for walking this part of the path with me and for putting up with the chaos that comes along with that x