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2 years later 
Started by everaftermath
15 Jan 2018, 9:35 PM

It's been two years since I lost my best friend, and first love to cancer. He and I were always supposed to have another chance to be together, you know? This wasn't some longing of unrequited love either, and it wasn't unhealthy - we both had other relationships after we broke up, and we remained close friends through the hard parts. We loved those other people fully, but we both figured at some point our lives would be different, circumstances would change, and if it felt right, we'd try again. We never got that chance.

When I visited him in hospice the week before he passed, he asked me if I was happy with my current partner. I was. We broke up 6 months later, and I've always wondered if my friend knew before I did. If things had been different when I visited, would he have survived? If his partner hadn't abandoned him like she did, would he have had the strength to hold on? If I had stayed with him in hospice (oh gods, why didn't I stay?) would anything be different?

When we were together, our anniversary was on the 11th, and it was a special day for us even afterwards. He passed away in the early morning on the 12th, and I know he was waiting for our day to be over - to make it easier on me. To not ruin our day with something so heartbreaking. I always thank him for that. I know it couldn't have been easy.

I have been dealing with depression for far longer than our friendship even spans, and have been very active the past two years in taking healthy steps to be better. I miss my buddy, and I think of him every single day, but I thought I'd grieved appropriately, and now the sadness is just that of which I need to be used to, and adapt to as this is my life now.

I didn't go to his funeral/celebration of life, as I lived in another province, and didn't feel emotionally up for the trip and the situation. I felt, and still feel, that my loss is so much different than everyone else he knew, which is selfish. I know he had a great impact on many people's lives, and had close relationships with various people.

Last year, his family and friends had a birthday celebration for him. It was to be a happy occasion, celebrating all that he was rather than what he couldn't be anymore. I also wasn't ready to go to that, but felt that I should as I would be much closer this time, and I still hadn't said goodbye in that type of setting. Instead, the weekend of, I got in a car accident - one that should have killed me -and was stranded in a small town for the weekend until the weather and roads cleared up, following the celebration in another city. So again, I did not say goodbye among friends and family. That being said though, I only survived the car accident because I knew my friend was right there with me. He knew that I wasn't ready to be at the celebration, and gave me a way out. I should mention, aside from a few scratches, I walked away uninjured. The same goes for my cat who was travelling with me, and all of my belongings. My car rolled three times off the highway, and the only thing that was damaged was my car itself (which I had been thinking about replacing..) It is the only reason I believe in miracles.

Now two years later his D.A passes, and for what I believe is the first time, I speak out publicly. My friends and family are supportive, but no one seems to catch the part where I say I still don't know how to move on, or even if I'm supposed to. Which I guess is what this is all about.. I don't know if I'm supposed to move on from this. How can I move on from something that broke my heart so completely I don't feel romantic feelings anymore? How can I let go of the one person who I KNEW was always going to be there for me? Even in death, I still feel he will come back to me. I know HE will not come back, I know that is not possible, but I know that one day I will meet someone who will have his same energy, his compassion and warmth, and I know they will feel just as at home with me as I do with them.

In the past few days since his DA, I've cried every day. I started journalling recently, and I wrote my longest entry yet yesterday - on how I am still in love with a dead man. 
I had an intake session today for group therapy (unrelated) and my friends death was brought up. The intake nurse suggested I check out grief counselling services too, based on my reaction and the feelings that arose. But I just.. I don't know if I'm ready for that. Until yesterday, I hadn't actually realized that I haven't grieved properly. I know I haven't given him up, I've always known that. I know that holding on is like I am is not healthy. I know I am still resentful and angry. But what if I'm not ready to let that go yet? What if I'm still not ready to let him go? What if I'm not supposed to?

It still feels so raw. It feels like he passed away yesterday. How has it been two years? We were supposed to have the rest of our lives together (even as friends), and now I'm alone.
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Reply by JennJilks
20 Jan 2018, 1:51 PM

It's hard writing to someone without a name or gender!
Dear you,
I want to say that I can feel your grief and your pain. I agree with the nurse, you should have grief counselling. It's not something you can be ready for. You just have to do it.
You are asking for help, and you know you need it. 
You've nailed it: it's not healthy, you are depressed, you are resentful and angry. This man's passing is dragging you down. You want to live. 
You may even be clinically depressed, and I wonder if you are getting treatment for that. I have had depression all my life, only I didn't know it at the time. My youngest child, age 30, got antidepressants following the passing of his father's death, and it has helped. This was a trigger for him, you see, and it was for me, as well. I was divorced and remarried, and my 2nd husband had cancer surgery at the time my 1st died from his cancer treatment. It was tough for all of us.
The professionals can determine if you need treatment. There are so many wonderful treatments for depression. You have a life to live, you have things to do. We manage hubby's cancer and try to enjoy each day. What's done is done. I use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to try and let go the things that do not matter. It's a tool I learned. I needed more than just tools though.
Grief is very complex. There is a difference between grief, bereavement and mourning. They are all parts of getting through this. Overcoming Life's DisappointmentsYou get on that phone and get some help. People care about you. Please go and get some help.

I wrote this article a few years ago:
On grief & grieving

Grief, mourning, bereavement


It is said that we can demonstrate that we loved well by expressing our grief. Grief is a normal response to loss.

Being in mourning, we go within, and look after ourselves.

The bereavement process is one that differs for all. The state is bereavement means you have experienced a loss, which can be a person, place, home, job, family situation.


Mourning is the process by which we honour the life, not the death of a loved one. We look back and share their stories. Depending upon culture or religion, we have particular ceremonies and practices to help us with this event.

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