I lost a friend this week. The kind of friend that you can go years without seeing but when you do it is like no time has passed at all. We had lost touch with each other over the past couple of years both of us wrapped up in our own lives and families. I had moved away and did not get back to the old stomping grounds as much as I would have liked any more. She had gotten married had children, gotten divorced and had a breakdown. I had gotten married started a company and gotten wrapped up in my animal advocacy work.
The last time we spoke we both lamented the fact that we were so far apart and that it made keeping up our friendship so difficult. We had told each other we had to get together soon, but we never found the time. Good intentions always, but life got in the way. We told ourselves there was all the time in the world and that soon we would rekindle the close friendship we once shared. Then came the news that she was gone suddenly and unexpectedly. Then came the regrets. Why didn’t I take the time to call, to visit? Why didn’t I make more of an effort?
She is gone now, and I will never be able to tell her how much I thought of her over the last two years, how many times I picked up the phone to call but something made me hesitate. Did she feel that I had abandoned her? I should have made more effort to keep in touch. We were very close once, she was like the sister I never had. We were always there for each other and no matter how we felt we always backed each other up. Then life happened and we went our separate ways telling ourselves we had lots of time, there would always be tomorrow. But there are no more tomorrows, and now I can never say all the things that I should have said when I had the time.
Shannon I’m sorry. Sorry I did not make an effort to keep our friendship going, sorry that I let my life take precedence over our friendship, sorry that I was not there for you when I should have been. If we are right and after death we are taken home to be with God, I hope that you can hear me. I pray that you know that I never stopped caring, never stopped counting you among my best friends. I hope that you understand that I loved you with the type of love that we reserve for special friends the kind of friends that we wish were family. A long time ago I walked away from my true family, I did not like the kind of people they were. You were one of the friends that made up my new family, the family I chose because they truly cared about me, and because I truly cared about them.
Although I hadn’t seen you since my wedding reception in 2008, I thought about you often. I wish that I could turn back time, that you were still with us, but most of all I wish that I were not saying goodbye, because I am not ready to let you go. This isn’t fair, you had too much life ahead of you! You were far too young.
Goodbye Shannon, I will miss you. I will always remember our friendship and the things we helped each other through. When we all lived in Shelburne there was never a time when I needed you that you were not there for me. You were a true friend, and I will never forget you.