I just read this article about a girl who lost her best friend/roommate right after she heard some of the happiest news of her life.
I can’t relate to it. I don’t know what it’s like to lose someone you love so much. I don’t know what it feels like to know someone who died.
That’s not exactly true. My grandmother died. My aunt died. Both (all three actually) of my grandfathers died. But I didn’t know them that well. I knew my grandma best of those people and I cried for a while when I found out but I eventually moved on. I was sad, I may have even grieved, but I wasn’t depressed.
I watched a Ted Talk the other day about depression. The guy talked about how the difference between sadness and grief and depression was time and impetus. You’re sad for a few hours/days because something bad happened, you grieve for a few weeks/months because you lost something or someone, you’re depressed for months for no particularly explainable reason. Sometimes sadness can make its way into depression, as can grief.
Anyway, hearing stories like that makes me extremely sad. It also makes me scared that one day this will happen to me and I’ll plunge into a deep depression. Mostly, hearing this story makes me kind of miss the younger version of myself. The version that didn’t ever get too close to anyone. The version that couldn’t even imagine what the pain of losing a close friend would have felt like.
Honestly, I have moments when I contemplate backing away from people. I think about how I would go about “leveling down” our friendship so that they wouldn’t feel close to me and I wouldn’t feel so close to them. That way, I could keep my distance but still seem present. Now would be the time. I’m away from all my friends. I could just stop texting or calling or writing or visiting. I could stop claiming them with arbitrary titles. They don’t belong to me anyway. I could just be that kid who’s friends with everyone and no one. That would stop me from one day having to feel that debilitating pain.
Everyone dies. And I’m not excited to see people again in heaven. I actually hate when people say things like “we’ll see them again in heaven!”. That is so frustrating to me. I mean, I like that one day I’ll maybe see people I loved and lost in heaven but let’s be real: 1) I’m not going to heaven to hang out with my friends from earth and 2) that’s not solace. As far as I know, I can’t touch heaven, I can’t smell it, I can’t see it or hear it. That doesn’t mean it’s not real but that does mean it’s not always the right answer to question of life. Even Jesus knew that.