September 20, 2012

Saying Good Bye

Recently a old friend got in touch with me through another friend to let me know about the passing of her brother. Of course I felt saddened by the news, shocked and wanted to express my sympathy to her.

Before contacting her, I began to think about what made our relationship fall apart. There wasn’t one specific moment I could put my finger on and say “that was it”. It just stopped. Our friendship just one day didn’t exist.

I remember the last time seeing both her and her brother. We had gone to the movies on a Tuesday night. It had become our new ritual after my breast cancer diagnosis. It was in February.  We talked about going to see a movie on Saturday night – The Wolfman with Benicio Del Toro, and left it at that. Saturday came, I never heard from her, I never texted her. That was it. A friendship ended.

Now, 2-1/2 years later, she has a mutual friend text me that her brother had passed. I wasn’t sure what to do. I of course texted her condolences and to let her know that her and her family were in my prayers. The loss of a life, especially one so young (he was under 30), is just devastating.

I believe she took the outreach as a new beginning for us. I’m not sure if that’s the route I want to take with her. She and I are very different. We are at different places in life. Although I wish only the best for her, I’m not sure I want to be involved in her world again.

Her brother Will was my first gay friend. He was the first gay person I ever knew. I can’t say my home was overly religious, but my parent’s had a very strict belief system. Homosexuality was not really discussed around our house. So, as an adult woman, when I met Will, I had so many questions for him. Questions that were personal and embarrassing. He was always so kind and patient with me and answered everything I threw his way. He was just happy to educate me. He made me feel comfortable about his sexuality, and I even began to look at him as a close friend.

Although I do not know the specifics regarding his passing, I know it was unexpected and tragic. I know his family and friends are suffering a great loss. He was liked by many. I’ve only heard good things about him and my experiences were the same.  I’ve thought of him often and with fondness. 

Due to family responsibilities, I am unable to attend his viewing. I know “my friend” is not going to understand my obligation of being a mom first (like I said, we are at different stages in life) and may not feel forgiveness in her heart for me. My non-attendance is in no way a reflection of my feelings.

So for Will:

Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for your sense of humor. You always knew how to make me laugh. Thank you for always dancing with me. Every time a Lady Gaga song came on – you’d hit the dance floor. I appreciate you consulting with me on your purchase of cologne. Yes, it is important that you smell pleasant to a woman too, even if you aren’t looking for a date. Thank you for allowing me to bombard you with questions about your lifestyle. Thank you for helping me understand that it is ok to not understand it, but that it is right to accept it.  Without you, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  Good Bye Will – I will miss you!



Angie said...

Oh wow Heather, I'm not even sure what to say. So sad to hear about your friend. He sounds like an awesome guy. My love and prayers go out to his family.

As far as not being sure if you want someone to be part of your life, I think that is totally okay. I have 2 people that used to be close friends. We quit talking for sometime and both have decided lately to start coming back around. I've been keeping my distance. Our lifestyles and opinions are just so different. I'm not sure if I want to involved with them anymore. It's not that I don't love them, I do. It's just that I don't think being their close friends again is best for me.I hope whatever decision you make it's the best one for you and your family.

This is a beautiful post. A beautiful tribute to Will

Unknown said...

I'm sorry to hear about the loss as well. :(

Keeping all of the people that were involved, friends, family, and people his life touched in my prayers!