Tell Your Friends You Love Them

Tell Your Friends You Love Them

"I wish that I had let out a few more I love you's and given more hugs to the one friend I didn't realize I wouldn't see again."

In my experience, friendship is one of the most complicated things to exist because sometimes they end and sometimes there is no true reason behind it. Life is a tricky thing in general, and people change. No matter how close you are at a point, sometimes you lose touch and different things come into each of your lives. It doesn't always have to be a unsolvable fight or some sort of betrayal.

A funny thing happens to you when you grow apart from someone who you used to be so close with. You find yourself thinking of them every once in a while when you're reminiscing and a fond memory peeks into your brain. A good portion of the time that this happens, however, the thought comes and goes. You might not reach out. As we get older, our time becomes more and more consumed. As we get older we get more friends and it becomes harder and harder to find the time for everyone while also having some for yourself.

In the beginning of the year I lost a friend that I used to be very close with. Although it was one of the hardest things I've had to deal with, I'm grateful for the time that I spent with him. I have my memories and although I wish that I had more, and I wish that I could make more, I'm thankful I have the ones that I do.

After he passed, I was overcome with guilt. I felt guilty that I didn't give him more of my time. I felt guilty when I sat down and thought about the fact that I couldn't remember the last time he was able to confide in me. I felt guilty that when an image of him popped into my brain, I didn't reach out to tell him that I was thinking of him. I especially felt guilty for feeling guilty too late.

There were a few times that I did reach out to see how he was doing and let him know that I missed him. He came to visit me once or twice at my school, but as time passed the messages seemed to get sent less and less. Visits stopped and plans that were made never seemed to happen.

I will always consider him one of the best friends that I've had, because the memories and experiences I shared with him were ones that I'll never forget. I have an entire unforgettable summer worth of memories that will never fade. Even before he passed, I knew that summer was the best one I'd ever have, and now even more so.

My friends and I have a way of showing affection without showing affection. We make fun of each other but we know that we care. I went so long without questioning this because it was just the way that things worked. I remember a time when I was twelve that I used to hug all of my friends before going home for the night and we said I love you more times than necessary.

Although we don't need to do all of that anymore to validate our friendship, I wish that I had let out a few more I love you's and given more hugs to the one friend I didn't realize I wouldn't see again.

If his death taught me anything, it was to make sure the people around me know that I care about them. Because of this, I've started saying a quick "love you" before hanging up the phone with my friends. I've started giving more hugs. I try to keep in touch with all of my friends, old and new, and set time apart for all of them. I let the people around me know that I care about them, even if it is in small ways.

The truth of the matter is that his death won't be the last one I experience and if someone I love is leaving this Earth, I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that they know I care about them. Death is the most inevitable thing in this world, but it hardly ever comes as expected. Treat everyone you love as if one of you will be gone tomorrow. Don't let things go unsaid because you might never get the chance to say them again.

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A Letter To The Grandpas Who Left Far Too Soon

The thoughts of a girl who lost both of her grandpas too early.

Dear Grandpa,

As I get older, my memories are starting to fade. I try to cling to every last bit of memory that I have of you. There are certain memories that have stuck well in my brain, and I probably will never forget them, at least I hope I don't. I remember your smile and your laugh. I can still remember how your voice sounded. I never want to forget that. I catch myself closing my eyes to try to remember it, playing your voice over and over in my head so that I can ingrain it in my memory.

I always thought you were invincible, incapable of leaving me. You were so young, and it caught us all by surprise. You were supposed to grow old, die of old age. You were not supposed to be taken away so soon. You were supposed to see me graduate high school and college, get married to the love my life, be there when my kids are born, and never ever leave.

My heart was broken when I heard the news. I don't think I had experienced a pain to that level in my entire life. At first, I was in denial, numb to the thought that you were gone. It wasn't until Thanksgiving, then Christmas, that I realized you weren't coming back. Holidays are not the same anymore. In fact, I almost dread them. They don't have that happy cheer in the air like they did when you were alive. There is a sadness that hangs in the air because we are all thinking silently how we wished you were there. I hope when I am older and have kids that some of that holiday spirit comes back.

You know what broke my heart the most though? It was seeing your child, my parent, cry uncontrollably. I watched them lose their dad, and I saw the pain that it caused. It scared me, Grandpa, because I don't ever want to lose them like how they lost you. I can't imagine a day without my mom or dad. I still see the pain that it causes and how it doesn't go away. There are good days and there are bad days. I always get upset when I see how close people are to their grandparents and that they get to see them all the time. I hope they realize how lucky they are and that they never take it for granted. I wish I could have seen you more so that I could have more memories to remember you by.

I know though that you are watching over me. That is where I find comfort in the loss. I know that one day I will get to see you again, and I can't wait for it. I hope I have made you proud. I hope that all that I have accomplished and will accomplish makes you smile from ear to ear. I hope that the person I marry is someone you would approve of. And I hope that my kids get more time with their grandpa than I did because the amount I got wasn't fair.

I want to say thank you for raising your child to be the best parent ever because they will one day be the best grandparent ever. Just like you.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn McKinney

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To My Best Friend Who Taught Me What True Friendship Is, I Can't Thank You Enough

"To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding."

Dear Best Friend,

You have been a part of my life for quite some time now. You have seen my good, bad, and ugly sides and have stuck by my side through it all. I don't know if I could ever find the words to truly thank you for everything your friendship has given me, but I am definitely going to try.

Our lives have taken some twist and turn these past few years, but we have stayed strong through it all.

Thank you for judging me just the right amount.

Throughout our friendship, I have made some very questionable decisions. A lot of people would say "thanks for never judging me", but I feel like everyone needs a best friend who's going to tell them how it is; to tell them when they are about to make a bad decision or how to avoid something worse from happening. You have always told me how it is (even when I don't always want to hear it), but I know that I can come to you whenever I need someone to set me straight.

You're always down to do nothing with me.

I think that you are the one person that I can call up to hang out and do absolutely nothing with and have a good time. From the nights sitting in and playing card games to ordering Chinese food and watching an entire Netflix series while I dance around with the cat: I know that we could do anything, and nothing together and it would be fun.

But also, you're always down to get lit with me.

I swear one day we will be two old moms at a bar drinking vodka crans and laughing about the stupid shit our husbands and children do. You're always down to go out and have a good time. Even if everyone else we're with is miserable, we find a way to laugh at ourselves.

You are one of the few constant things in my life.

I've lost a lot of friends in my life, but you have stayed by my side through everything. I can't remember the last time we actually fought about anything, but even when we do we can't stay mad at each other for more than a day. I know we will be in each other's lives until we literally keel over.

I want you yo know that you're the strongest person I know.

You've dealt with things that not many people go through ever in their life. You have always been so mature, and you handle everything with grace. You inspire me every day with your goals and successes and I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments.

Above all else, you deserve the world.

It's so easy to get caught up in your own mind and think that you deserve the things that happen to you, but please know that the only thing you deserve is happiness. Please settle for nothing short of that. It may take a bit to find your happiness, but I will be there every step of the way. You're a remarkable human being, and I want nothing but the best for you.

To the person who will hold your heart someday, please do not break it. To the person who may wrong you, you will regret it forever. To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding.

You, my best friend, future bridesmaid, godmother of my children, the person to bail me out of jail, the one who lets me cry on their couch for twelve hours,

I love you.

I will cherish our friendship forever. Thank you for being you.

Love always,

Your best friend.

Cover Image Credit: Adriana Ranieri

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