The recent passing of a dear friend has had me in a frenzy. We never know when our beautiful souls will transcend into another life, and when those we cherish with every part of our being pass—even if quite some time has passed since you’ve spoken to them—it still hurts. Every piece of me has cycled through every stage of emotion: denial, acceptance, hurt, anger, sadness…regret.
When I learned about my friend’s passing, I just couldn’t face the reality that she was gone. It was a slow morning. I had stayed up pretty late the past few nights, and I was taking full advantage of sleeping in (such mornings have become a rarity, and I was basking in the peacefulness of it all). I finally crawled out of bed and was preparing for the day’s errands when I opened Instagram. I was enjoying everyone’s reels and celebratory posts of Juneteenth when I came across the post I’d never expected and that nothing could prepare me for.
The second I saw her beautiful face appear in a memorial post from another friend, my heart skipped a beat. I’d seen many of these posts throughout the year, but this felt much more personal. Memories of her laughter and smile flooded my mind; I remembered the encouraging messages she’d send when I had crossed a milestone. She was always there… And now? She was gone. No more. Tears and screams poured out of me and into the room; they were washing over me like a flood and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
The only thing I could do was call the man who is closest to my heart, my daddy. It had already been an emotionally taxing weekend before I found out, so I was so appreciative to have his support and listening ear. He noticed the sadness in my voice the minute I said his name, and immediately the tears began to flow as I told him the news. I know his heart hurt for me, especially because he was miles away and couldn’t comfort me like I know he would have liked. Since moving out and living on my own, it’s days like this—when I am hurting and broken—that I feel the loneliness of adulthood.
I was feeling so much regret and anger. My friend and I hadn’t talked in a while and I just kept thinking, Maybe if I would have spoken to her sooner…Maybe if I wouldn’t have let weeks go by without speaking to her…But the thing is, I couldn’t and can’t harbor “what-ifs” and hypotheticals that may or may not have changed what happened. I couldn’t allow my mind to wander with these thoughts or for my clouded judgment to lead me down a dark hole of more hurt, blame, and regret.
Thankfully, my father reminded me of a few things: Yes, she is no longer here, and yes, I will always miss her. But I can’t allow myself to get swallowed up in what could be or might have been because these are questions I can’t get answers to. Instead, I should live to be the person she always knew I could be and remember the person she was and forever will be.
I have to find comfort in understanding that everyone’s timing is different and that God brings everyone on this earth for a purpose. Once that purpose has been fulfilled, He brings them home—even if the timing for some may seem short to us. So while we are living on this earth, let us forgive those around us without expectations beyond our own peace. Because unforgiveness of the self and others breeds bitterness, and that bitterness may just keep us from living out our true purpose for ourselves and others.
I believe my friend fulfilled her purpose of being one of my beautiful protectors and one of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. She had a bright spirit and a kind soul. She was a friend to me when no one else was. She was my encourager. Even as we grew older with our own different lives, she was always in my corner.
I am forever grateful for the time we shared together. She will forever be my guardian angel.
I love you B.