A couple of things I have learned this year thus far is that there is a fine line between being busy with life and taking time out to comfort a friend in the midst of them having heavy losses in a short amount of time. Best friends let alone good friends are hard to come by after the tender age of 29.
After most people hit their 30’s they settle down and make their own families and priorities shift, as they should. If like me you had your family young and have basically done things alone, because while in your 20’s you were busy settling down and raising a family while friends were out partying and now the roles are reversed. These days I find myself with an empty nest and plenty of time on my hands. The friends I make my age these days if they do not have children seem a little off to me and do not understand my behavior of needing to check in and making sure all things are well with my now adult child. These age appropriate friends are basically to me, like adult teenagers.
In the three short months of 2016, I have had to deal with a great deal of loss and heartache.I have tried to reach out to those close friends I thought I had but have gotten crickets. I heard the comforting yet empty words of I am so sorry for your loss and if you need anything, anything at all let me know. I withdrew into myself to process my emotions as I only know how, in my head. When I emerged and needed solace I got delayed responses and yet more promises that when they are not busy we will get together and talk about stuff. At this point I have let some shit go because people have lives and usually do not have time for things that do not directly affect them.
During my bereavement time I went to a group I used to frequent more often than I do these days and met a new member I had yet to meet. She was a fierce and formidable scrabble player. As we spoke she told me about herself and her week and she asked me about mine and I mentioned casually about my grandmother and she stopped, put her hand on mine and squeezed. I froze and made eye contact with tears in my eyes. It was a moment of kindness I had been lacking that initial week. As it turns out she also happens to be a grief counselor and sent me some information to my home address that I got a few days after I had received her note, reminding she had not forgotten about me and that more information was on the way.
Truth is, that is all I needed, a true moment of kindness with no ulterior motive.