You’ve been gone now a couple years

The other day “Goodbye” by Patty Griffin came on my iPod, and I know this song is about someone who died (it seems, in fact, like it’s about a suicide), but it makes me think of my old best friend, with whom I have not spoken in over two years. I have mentioned her on here from time to time, and while I know I am doing better with the situation, it’s hard to think that it’s been two whole years. Two years. She doesn’t know about our not-really-new-anymore house, or my job, or Mike going back to school. And that’s just the big stuff, the stuff everybody knows. What I really lament is the little stuff – the way we never got to talk about The Return of the King movie, the way I never got to introduce her to some of the music I have come to love over the past two years, the laughter that we never had, the lounging around that we missed.

I am able to admit that there were things about our friendship that didn’t work, and I have the feeling that, unless things changed a lot for one of us, we wouldn’t have been able to sustain a long-term friendship like I had hoped we would have. That’s something I know, and that Mike has said, but that I have never admitted before (except silently to myself, but then I would quickly banish the thought), because that’s not what I wanted. I didn’t want to admit it because I thought it meant I’d have to stop being sad. The truth, though, is that I’m still sad. Maybe I will always be sad, I don’t know. I don’t think I will, to be honest. I hope that one day the memories I have of our time together will be seen through the sunshiny haze that I now see when I look back at my childhood, and I’ll be able to let the painful parts go. As I was writing this, “Bookends” came up on my iPod, and the sentiments I expressed in that entry are still applicable today. I think I am learning how to let things be what they were, and the only thing that could help me do that is time.

What really strikes me as I read the lyrics of “Goodbye” are all the ways that I wanted to let her know that I thought she was special and important, not only to me, but as a child of God. I failed her in that, I know. I can be too rash and impatient sometimes, and I know I was with her. I don’t blame myself for our failed relationship, but I know that her inability to see herself as someone valuable is ultimately what pulled us apart. We started caring about different things, and the memories we had made weren’t enough to keep us together. And that’s sad.

I’m not especially sad about the whole thing today, just reflective. It makes me wonder, sometimes, when life keeps turning out so different than I expect, how I am able to keep pouring myself into relationships with such fervor. I suppose it’s only by the grace of God.

Occured to me the other day
You’ve been gone now a couple years
well, I guess it takes while
For someone to really disappear
And I remember where I was
When the word came about you
It was a day much like today
the sky was bright, and wide, and blue

And I wonder where you are
And if the pain ends when you die
And I wonder if there was
Some better way to say goodbye

Today my heart is big and sore
it’s tryin’ to push right through my skin
I won’t see you anymore
I guess that’s finally sinkin’ in
‘Cause you can’t make somebody see
By the simple words you say
All their beauty from within
Sometimes they just look away
-Patty Griffin

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