It seems that I am unable to fully process any emotion, come to grips with reality, or find peace with life until I write about it.
Writing eases things.
I'm writing tonight to ease something. A pain, a sense of loss, and a deep regret over a childhood friend who passed tragically.
I grew up with this person. We lived in the same building for a number of years, attended the same church, classes, the list goes on. We were babies, toddlers and children together, and I told him that we were going to be married when we grew up. He should have argued, but he didn't.
Life shifted. His family moved away. We rarely saw each other. The last time, we were in the awkwardness of fourteen, and there wasn't much to connect over, except for the silent acknowledgement of a history, when we had been childhood companions.
It's strange how a shared youth connects you permanently to others. Over the years I have sporadically reconnected with some friends of my past, and wondered where the others went, what they're doing for a career, and if they have children. This one friend I felt the occasional need to stalk on Facebook, and more recently I was considering reaching out, if only with a simple, "Hey! Remember me? How's life?"
I missed that opportunity.
It's strange how the passing of someone I haven't seen in over 10 years affects me, even when we weren't truly close. Just that past, the shared history, is enough. And the fact that only afterwards I hear about the suffering, the struggle, and the things I've fought against myself.
It is then that I feel the regret.
Regret that I didn't reach out, that I didn't know, that I wasn't there to share my own pain, to listen, and to support in the midst of darkness.
Now I hear about the good things too. That this person, with whom I thought I had nothing in common but childhood, also loved poetry. We could have shared that.
And I know it's not my fault, that the plan is bigger than I can see and that, for whatever reason, the burden was not mine to bear. Still, I regret.
I don't want it to be in vain.
I want to be the one that will listen, weep, and rejoice with anyone who might need me. I want others to feel my love, support, and comfort, because I have felt the same ache. I want the world to know that I am here.
And so I write, in hopes that a hurting world will feel my presence. And to speak for those who speak no more.
Someone who has been lost deserves to be remembered. But though the stories are told, our words and memories fade, unless we write them down.
I write to preserve. It is the least that I can do.