I’d like to think of myself as a good friend. Someone that can be there when a friend needs a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. I like to think of myself as ‘there’ when someone needs them the most…I like to think of myself as a strong person.
But apparently, I am not.
I realized this for the first time when my developmentally disabled client was put in the hospital in 2006. I went and visited him, because it was the right thing to do. But it was all just to heavy for me and I couldn’t go back. Even though he needed visitors. Even though he needed an ambassador at his side making sure he got the right care. Even though he needed a friend.
But I just couldn’t do it.
I chalked it up at the time to his being belligerent and scared. I told myself I wasn’t physically strong enough to actually help.
I know different now.
A friend of mine has cancer. A friend of mine is dying. A friend of mine needs a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. A friend of mine needs a good friend.
But I just can’t do it.
As I write this, I cry. I feel ashamed. I feel guilty and I feel angry.
I received an email from her two days ago and I still have yet to respond to her. I still have yet to tell her that I miss her, that I love her and that I think about her everyday. I still can’t bring myself to be a good friend.
I can deal with a friend being sad about a family member or being sad about the loss of another friend; like my Kimmy. I can deal with that. I can be a shoulder and I can be that ear. I can deal with reading sad blog posts about loss and about grief. But I just can’t deal with this. I pray to God that this doesn’t make me a bad person. I pray to God that he understands my limitations. I pray to God that someday I will be strong enough to deal with things that are heavy.
And I pray to God that my friend understands.