I am sorry for what I did not say

I am sorry for what I did not say

The promises we couldn’t keep

Writing letters and expressing my love for our friendship came easily to me. She was my friend ever since I came into this world. We had a lot of connections between us. Some destined and some planned. I had heard her name a hundred times even before we met at the age of seventeen. We hit off from day one. She was my guardian angel. She knew my family and I knew hers. Our values and our ways to deal with studies that mattered the most at that point in life were similar.

We stayed, studied, and laughed together.

We were friends and close ones at that. From one city to another, as our lives changed for good we continued our conversations. Miles away from each other, we connected over room mates we did not like and problems we could not crack. She had ideas and I had words of wisdom. From the hills to the plains, we spoke of weather and walks to our respective colleges.

I moved again and this time with a job in hand. The distance between us increased but we stayed connected. I still missed her around. I read the notes she wrote to me in my diary and longed to meet her. She assured that our friendship would never fade and we would continue to share our lives like we always did.

And then, everything changed.

I stopped calling her. When I called, I did not know what to say. She was dealing with a loss and I was clueless on how to handle it. I was naive and I could not say things that even a stranger would not hesitate to say.

“I am sorry for your loss.”

“You are in my prayers.”

“What happened was unfortunate.”

“What can I do for you?”

“May he rest in peace”

“He was a father figure to me too and I can’t believe he is no more.”

Simple words that I meant but I could not say. I called and gave her news from all over the world to make her laugh. To lighten up her mood. I shared who got married and who moved countries. My job and all around me but could not muster the courage to ask how she was coping.

I could not say how sorry I felt.

Words failed me.

Deep in my heart, I believed she would understand me. With all my imperfections and introvert nature, I assumed. I still longed to see her and hug her tight. Let her cry and cry out loud with her. I wanted to wipe her tears and tell her that I will always be around her. My feelings had not changed since the day we became friends. I just did not know what to say.

With time, we grew apart. She became cold and I assumed it was okay knowing what she was dealing with. I gave her space. That space had then transformed into a gap that was way beyond my reach.

One evening, she called and told me how I failed her as a friend. She told me how she thought I will be around and help her overcome the loss she was dealing with but I kept talking about others. She told me that I could not hold on to our friendship. That I wasn’t a friend for all seasons. Whatever was left of our friendship, died that day. As she emptied her heart, I cried. Over my silliness and my escapism.

Ten years and counting, I cannot bring back the time. I wonder on the what if and if only. She had to let me go for her reasons and I could not hold on to her. We talk twice a year but we know there is no warmth or love left. We want the best for each other for old times sake but our sorrows are not shared and joys aren’t multiplied.

I still dread death and I don’t know how will I handle it when it knocks at the door of those who I love. But now, I know we all need a few honest words from those who matter. Words are all that we have to show what’s in our heart and this is what I know now.

I am still sorry for what I did not say.

Writing for Yeah Write 304 today.

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  1. Very thought provoking and really resonates with me since my Leukaemia Diagnosis, friendships aren’t always easy and sometimes life changing events happen and people change, this is something I am struggling with so thank you for writing this.

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  3. ” but our sorrows are not shared and joys aren’t multiplied.” You have conveyed so much about friendship is this one line, nicely written. This whole piece reminds me of the song by the Byrds, Turn, Turn, Turn.

  4. Moving essay and I especially liked the line, “We want the best for each other for old times sake but our sorrows are not shared and joys aren’t multiplied.” It encapsulated the totality and tragedy of what happened to your friendship. You also managed to convey how easily an evasion can become a chasm that no person can overcome. If I may give a personal opinion, I know I would want to know that you had been there with me all along, even if our friendship still can’t be resurrected by that knowledge. Good job!

  5. Loss is difficult no matter what precipitates it. I think all of us have been in that moment where we don’t know what to do for a friend or loved one. It breaks my heart for you and for your friend…

  6. I completely understand the loss of a friendship because of what you did or did not do. I feel if the friend can’t get over this, she/he is not worth having as a friend any more. Do not mourn the loss of this friendship. Life is made of friend shifts and not really friend ships. True friends understand that people can’t always live up to what is expected of them and accept this ‘failing’ and continue to remain friends.

  7. I can see from the comments that you have really struck a chord here, which is what good writing should do! I liked the fact that you didn’t shy away from any truths here. It makes for a stronger piece.
    I don’t think what you did was wrong or weak. I have experienced grief from both sides and when being comforted, sometimes these phone calls such as the ones you described were little oases of happiness in my day, even if it was just a superficial laugh. I knew these friends cared about me just as much as the ones who said all the ‘right’ things.
    I hope you don’t judge yourself too harshly for this. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Oh, Parul. This is so honest and vulnerable. It’s always the things we don’t say that we regret. It is unfortunate. I hope she reads this so she can see how much you do still love her. Xx

  9. This definitely touched a chord with me because it’s universal. There’s invariably been an occasion like this in everyone’s life. I don’t know if that’s any consolation to you but it’s a fact. There’s that one time you didn’t say anything that reminds you to push yourself to find something to say every other time.

  10. We all are different people . One thing can’t be applicable for other . Your temperament is like your father . He also avoids” that ” situation.
    It happens in life …we can’t carry same relationship always _ with same warmth .
    In your case atleast u know the reason . But in my case I even don’t know what have I done ?
    And last 3 yrs we r not talking .
    Previously it used to hurt me a lot . But now I hav adjusted and happy .
    Love u

  11. It so resonated with what I feel in situations like you have been. Something that I dread to face, however hard I try. And from inside I know, this is definitely not the way to escape.. Hope I learn soon.. And, wish your friendship too to come out of this unpleasant phase.

  12. Parul, this resonated with me on many levels. I’ve been where you are, and I’ve also been in the position of your friend. Having that perspective made me realize that while I did “drop the ball,” I didn’t fail my friend who was mourning. Everyone handles grief differently, and some people would welcome having a close friend who’d distract them with topics other than the elephant in the room. Now if your friend said, “I really want to talk to you about this, ” and you said, “Oh hey, look at that butterfly” then I could see why she’d be upset, but communication goes both ways. I hope some day maybe you can both come to some understanding, and mend your friendship. *hugs*
    Traci York recently posted…TT – Free Tarot Card Reading Week of February 7 2017My Profile

  13. This must hurt so much, Parul. I get your point. I also dread offering condolences. I don’t know what to say and I try to avoid talking but I’ve also realized the importance of acknowledging the other person’s loss, especially when the person is close to me. Perhaps you can write to her about why you did not say those words. It may or may not bridge the gap but it’s important that your friend should know that you are not a cold person or a fair-weather friend. Hugs, Parul. This was a heartfelt and honest post.
    Uma recently posted…Why I root for the underdog?My Profile

  14. Maybe it was meant to happen that way! There are certain situations in our life that can’t be controlled. Maybe it was one of them. And maybe you learned a few things as well. I, just like you, simply don’t know what to say at such times. Words which never leave, fail me during those times and I can’t describe how pathetic I feel!
    You’re a beautiful person, Parul with a gem heart. I hope writing this has unburdened your heart a bit. Take care.

    Love you.

  15. A bug hug to you, Parul. I can so relate to this. Sometimes we don’t say what we feel, not because we don’t want to, but because we don’t know how to! Hope your friend reads this and realizes that she still means a lot to you!

  16. It’s not easy and delicate in pushing to say words during such tough times. Let time heals. Don’t push yourself to the wall. I am sure with time, things will settle in the right manner.

  17. Hug your friend if you are able to meet her and I am sure things will be better. Well if she is reading this post you have already won your friend back.

  18. That’s so sad. Is it a true incident? I think if you pour your heart out to your friend like you did now, she will understand you. That’s how friends are, right? Hoping this was a piece of fiction. Hugs dear :*