Sometimes—for some length of time—people come to ‘perch’ upon our lives; to sit with us on our park benches. They come into our lives for a reason, for a purpose, for a season. Some are even family. Before long, however, they’re gone. In our sorrow we wonder why.
At these times—as we reflect—it’s often hard to know the where’s and why-for’s. Why did these friends appear so suddenly, sitting on our park bench, only then to just as suddenly disappear? Did they do it for fun? Did they do it for pain? Did they perhaps have nothing to do with it... were they taken from us?
The Anatomy of Hurt
We don’t know why we’re tempted, barring hurt, to resent their disappearance—whether it is them we resent, God or life for taking them, or ourselves for something we might feel we’ve done.
Hurt usually has a lot to say about these things. If not the raw expression of rank sadness for the hurt, then anger. Anger comes as we ‘protect’ our sadness in pride.
But for some there is just the season, however much it hurts. They are close for a time and for some reason. Perhaps with the passage of the years we’ll find out eventually. In the meantime, though, we’re probably very well advised to simply choose a philosophical schema—however cold that might sound.
Saying Goodbye Far Too Early
It takes a great deal of courage to say goodbye. Sometimes it even runs across the grain of our logic to do it; this can prove confusing. “Is it okay to say goodbye?” might be our thought.
Now, if life has chosen for us, and we seem destined to have to get used to a new reality, we need not be in any rush to accept the new reality, but acceptance is where we need to eventually land.
Hard to say it, maybe, but can we envision the feeling of pure appreciation for these and their roles in our lives? Perhaps not now, but sometime in the future—that’s the hope.
Here’s a toast, then: To absent friends.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: to Pink Floyd’s, Wish You Were Here (1975), and on a special date for special people. It is special every day, but certainly today of all days.