I said goodbye to another friend last week. It is becoming too routine. Funerals. Memorials. Grief-stricken phone calls laced with guilt and shame. Why does this keep happening? I am 28 years old, and I have been to more funerals in my life than weddings. More memorials than gatherings of friendship. And it is exhausting.
We refuse to shine a light in the darkness, but the fact of the matter is that we are failing as people. We are failing as friends, failing as a family, and ailing in general as far as humanity is concerned. We tell each other every time "We need to get together soon," but don't get together until another one of us dies.
How unfortunate that all of our meetings occur because one of us didn't have the strength to go on. My friends should be buried when they are old and gray, but it seems more often than not, the tragedy is a choice. It's suicide. It's drug overdose. It's a hate crime. It's not fair. It's not 80 years old with family by their side dying. It's a phone call from a mutual friend, sobbing, as they break the news. And it's disbelief because it shouldn't be happening. Not in our late 20's and early 30's. It's ridiculous. It has to end.
When did it become so hard for us to talk about how we feel? When did it become impossible to say I'm sorry when we are wrong and LET GO of the hostility? Why are we still fighting against one another instead of standing together and fighting against something worth fighting against? We put one another down behind our backs to friends who do the same to us instead of getting out of our shoes for a moment and stepping into theirs. We are so quick to tell someone how we feel about someone else but won't say to the person we are talking about. We barely even talk about how we think. It's destroying us.
We are pushing away people who have been there for so long and placing trust in people who are strangers.
Making our true friends become the strangers.
And then we all gather around at a memorial for someone we all love and pretend like it hasn't been months since we spoke. Or years since we saw one another. And I am guilty of it. I am just as guilty as everyone else. I say I will see you soon and then I don't even pick up the damn phone. It's my fault. I know I will see you again. At the next memorial. So I don't bother to make more of an effort. But I am done waiting for funerals. What if the next one is mine? Then I guess I won't see you, again. It's time we start following through. We begin making pinky promises with kisses so that we do what we say we are going to do. No more waiting for one of us to die.
Why don't we enjoy each other while we are alive? I don't know when the next time we get together is, but I hope it is a joyous occasion and not one of sorrow. I am tired of the silence that is so loud. My ears ache from the quiet. I want music and laughter. I want my friends who have become family. I want them surrounded. And I don't want to be laying in a casket when they are. Call the people you love today. Just to say hello. Maybe they are hurting. Perhaps that phone call is what they need. Perhaps you will save their life, and you won't even realize it. Just pick up the phone. Or make the drive. We seem to only show up in times of need. Maybe people would need less if we just made the time.
Time is funny, in the sense that none of us know how much of it we have left. Well? The clock is ticking. You better take a minute before the minute is taken from you.