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.