On Monday, I was trying to write a Facebook status, but it turned into something that was way too long to post on Facebook, so I’m going to share it here because I need to say it all. It’s not exactly a short story, but on the other hand, it is about a story that was much too short.
Birthdays are the worst. To be honest, I thought it would be that day in early June. That day you left us, but no. It’s getting that Facebook notification reminding me that it’s your birthday and the CELEBRATE! “Let them know you’re thinking of them!”
Doesn’t Facebook figure it out that when someone has been inactive for years that they are probably dead?
Last year was probably the hardest. The year we all started to turn 30, and you were still 27, will always be 27. Maybe it the was the milestone, the things that you should have been there for but weren’t because life isn’t fair.
Our friends started to get married.
At Pheobe’s wedding, there was an empty chair next to mine at the reception. I know that it was just an extra chair, but sitting there I couldn’t help but think that it was there for you. This empty chair a reminder that you weren’t there. I rode a train down, and the whole time I kept thinking about how I knew I had to hold it together because even though you should have been there, I couldn’t get upset and distract from her day. But, you know me, you know that didn’t happen.
I thought that as the years started to add up that it would get easier. I’d get used to you not being there, but as the events you miss get bigger, the harder it gets.
I know as we got older we drifted farther apart. We weren’t the same friends we were when we were 8 or 10, but to think that you wouldn’t be part the high school reunion, or at the weddings or the 30th birthday parties is just ridiculous. You would have been there. You should have been there.
It’s not as hard as it used to be, it’s not every day that I get struck with this terrible feeling like I’m missing an arm or something, but when I do it sudden and deep. When I smile when I hear Three Little Birds instead of getting choked up. Then I feel this weird guilt for no feeling it all the time. It’s not like I forget that you’re not here. I know it’s moving on, grieving. Trying to become whole again.
It’s not fair. It’s not fair that you not here.
I’m still angry. I’m still mad at you for dying. I mad at you for making me sit at Pheobe’s wedding alone. For having to explain this flower tattoo on my wrist. For ruining a song that tells me Everything is gonna be alright.
I’m hoping that someday I will stop being mad, but I don’t see that time coming anytime soon. Not as our friends keep turning 30, and your brother graduates from high school and Facebook keeps telling me to remember to tell you I’m thinking about you on your birthday.
It’s not fair. It will never feel fair, but that’s the hand we were dealt, and there is nothing I can do about it.
I hope that where ever you are, in your own way you’ve made it to all these events. The birthdays, the weddings, the parties. I like to think that you are, that part makes it a little easier. But it doesn’t make up for the fact that your deep laugh isn’t there.
Every year I think about how lucky I am that the last thing I got to say to you was “I love you, too.” And if nothing else, I have that you knew that. I don’t have to regret that I never told you how much our friendship meant and how much I cared. I just hope you believed it, because what happened next… what happened next was unfair. And it will never feel fair ever. I don’t want to be the girl with the dead friend. But I don’t get a choice.
I hope where ever you are, you are at peace.
Happy birthday my friend, I miss you so so much.