Recently I lost a good friend of more than 20 years. He died suddenly while working in a country somewhere far away. We had good times in our 20s and our common love for beach volley had united us profoundly. We had kept in touch and we were always celebrating each other’s achievements.
I want to talk about the pain I felt when I heard the news. It was literally physical pain. It came as a shock to my system and it caught me totally unprepared. I have lost family and friends before but there was something about this time that hit me hard. It was as if all of the pain and weight of the previous losses suddenly weighed on me rendering me hypersensitive and broken.
The truth is I felt guilty. Guilty that I didn’t tell my friend that I loved him enough, that he had done so well in his life and that he was a great person. I didn’t tell him how proud I was of him. I blame myself for not giving more in this friendship and now that he’s gone, he will never know. So I took some time to process my feelings and allow myself some space to think.
I realised I need to start by forgiving myself. I am doing the best I can when I can and it’s not my fault that my friend is gone. It doesn’t make me any less of a good friend or a good person. I will take my time to grieve and cry but I will focus on the good times we had instead. I forgive myself for all my thoughts and inhibitions.
Taking something so dark and turning it into something positive is not easy. Time does heal the wounds but not entirely. I keep telling myself that my friend was living a happy life and he was loved by everyone that knew him. This is a great relief and it helps me concentrate on the good memories we made together.
I am not saying it is easy and I am not trying to reduce the significance of losing a loved one. But forgiving yourself is the most important step towards finding liberation from sadness. By allowing yourself to be who you are, you accept your strengths and your flaws. You can then embrace your feelings that are just what you should be feeling in the moment.
I am not trying to transform misery into elation. I am accepting the natural course of things and taking it one step at a time. Through meditation and self-acceptance, I can control my mind and direct it towards appreciating what I have at this moment. And I do have a lot of happy, funny memories with my good friend.
𝚃𝚘 𝚖𝚢 𝚐𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚏𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝙻𝚞𝚒𝚜 (𝟷𝟿𝟽𝟼-𝟸𝟶𝟸𝟷)