Dear Stranger,


Dear Stranger,

The incredibly sad dichotomy of this situation is that you were once someone I knew better than I thought I knew myself.  I’m not sure what happened or if it was anyone’s fault, but somehow we’re back at the point we started.  Instead of walking toward each other however, we’re walking in opposite directions.  What do we do with the happiest memories that seem to cause the most heartache at the end of a friendship?  Is it worth it to even hold on to any of the ideas that once fueled the amazing feat of shaping the relationship of two individuals?

There are really no answers to these questions as we all experience the passing of love differently.  Some people tend to cut their losses completely and try to strike forward with a sense of immediacy.  Others need whatever closure they can glean out of the fraying ends of the ties that once bound them so closely to that other being.  More still will sit in the silence of absence never really knowing how to heal, but waiting for something to strike itself up as an answer.  No one way is greater or healthier or the better response, and realizing this is one of the hardest parts of losing a friend.  We all want to believe that there is a good way or a right way to walk away from someone, but in the end each footstep taken in whatever direction is full of pain, regret, and the want for a different solution.  There will never be a way that makes you feel “relieved” about a decision to separate yourself from love, even if it is a love that needs to end.

In going through one of these situations, it tends to feel overly dramatic, at least to me.  If you’re the kind of person who goes for that final conversation, more often than not you realize the futility of trying to talk things out because let’s be honest the issue of communication probably factored into the reasons for you leaning away in the first place.  The talk is meant to be constructive, and geared to make both parties involved experience the least amount of awkward tension.  Going in you can rationalize every point you want to make in a clean and tidy outline, but in practice feelings are messy and unfortunately there is never a “good time” to have this conversation.  These factors alone will always do you in.

You leave reeking of broken failure knowing that is probably the last time you’ll talk to your friend in that, “why would they want to deal with the complete and utter mess that is me instead of moving on?” and wishing things would have gone any other way.  All your other friends will tell you, “don’t worry you didn’t do anything wrong” or “it’s the other person’s problem now.”  Still, that feeling that you personally brought about the final moments of something beautiful can’t be shaken.

But one of the things to remember is that that singular feeling of loss and heartache is actually what you were looking for all along.  We’re not all masochists, but every in endeavor we set out on, we are seeking an emotional response consciously or not.  Nothing in this world can exist without it’s polar opposite, and until you feel the pain of the situation and recognize it to be true, you will never begin to heal that wound.  So, feel dramatic.  Let the gravity of what your heart is going through be acknowledged.  No one can judge you on how much you love, or how greatly you feel loss.  It’s the elegant and monstrous condition of being human.

The suggestion is to look to the future in trying to move forward; which makes physical sense after all.  It needs to be said though, to honor the past, even if there are things you’d like to forget there or cause you distress.  These are the experiences that make it possible for us to have a future as a mature and able minded person.  As cheesy as it sounds, the end of one adventure is the beginning of another.  Go ahead, take a day to feel sad or remorse about your decision.  Being emotionally vulnerable sucks and we all know it.  Don’t get stuck there though.  Although I think pain is a necessary evil, it needs to give way to healing at some point, and our own positive energy can only speed that process along.

This “ending” I keep talking about doesn’t have to mean you lose someone completely, it could be the start to a different chapter of your friendship, healthier in that you both have an understanding of one another you didn’t have before.  But even if it is the last conversation you have, let it come out of a place of love; a love that wants the best for yourself as well as this other person who still means the world to you.  If the best means becoming strangers again, at least you have the unshakable strength in knowing that along with the power to survive the breaking up of love, you have the spirit and resilience to bring it about again with the billions of other strangers who possess potential to love all that is beautiful and wonderful about you.

Chocolate. Just chocolate.




One thought on “Dear Stranger,

  1. Babe, I’m glad u have a big heart and that you wrote it all out cause i know that always helps. That is a really good point that “until you feel the pain of the situation and recognize it to be true, you will never begin to heal that wound.” I feel like as difficult as it is to lose the friendship, you needed to talk to him for your own peace of mind, and i really hope u aren’t too hard on yourself for initiating the talk. I really admire you that you sent him that nice text after your talk, being the bigger person, after he wasn’t ready to talk about things. Please don’t blame yourself though. I love you Whit, Kenj

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