The Friendship Obituaries

Some friendships I’ve ended intentionally. Haven’t you?

I was 14 and I sent a note to a friend explaining that I couldn’t be her friend anymore. The reason for this valiant behavior? She’d discovered boys and sneaking out and smoking.

I’d been through that with a cousin, and I knew that if my friend was sneaking out with boys, those boys would be around even when they were allowed to be.

They’d be the kind of boys who encouraged girls to sneak out at night.

I wrote her that I wanted to stay out of trouble and that we were too young for smoking and boys. She never wrote back. She must’ve thought me a prude. But I wanted my life to go a particular way and that way didn’t include being derailed by boys.

She never spoke to me again.

Have you ever purposely ended a childhood friendship?

The Friendship Obituaries

Do you remember the first friendship to die?

We were in the 2nd grade and the murder was accidental. Or at least, I hadn’t considered the consequences of my actions.

In the lunch line I kissed a boy on top of his head. He was short with blue black hair and big blue eyes. I was the tallest kid in the class.

He was horrified.

My best friend, S., was angry. She liked him too, and the two of them were the same height.

S did eventually speak to me again, but the friendship died. I didn’t understand why she was so mad. It wasn’t as if the boy had then suddenly decided he liked me!

The last I remember of S was our sophomore year in high school. We hadn’t spoken in years and I saw in her the hallway. She was pregnant.

We never did speak again.

But in the 2nd grade we were best friends.

____

Do you remember your first best friend?

The Friendship Obituaries

When life throws painful nonsense at you, write something.

Who gets through life without losing a friend? When I ask that, I don’t mean losing a friend to the world beyond the veil. The friendship isn’t dead in those cases. The person is gone, but the love, the care, the thoughts remain.

My friend blurred out...

No. I mean loss through argument, betrayal, and other dangerous doors.

The friendship dies and needs to be buried. Maybe you have a ritual for loss of this kind, but most of us, I think, don’t give these losses the attention they deserve.

Who breaks your heart more: friends or lovers?
(I hoped the stars helped you if friend and lover were one and the same.)

A few days ago a friend wrote me this: I do not want to be friends with any of you anymore. Do not contact me anymore. Leave me alone.

That’s clear, isn’t it? This friend wrote this to me and two others. The four of us had been friends since 1987.

The first time I met L…

…she stood next to a box at dorm room window. She introduced me to her mother. I thought she looked nothing like her mother.

I was right. Her mother was really her step-mother and I would later learn how her step-mother used to hit her with a hairbrush and call her a whore because a few boys had seen her underwear when she’d swung too high on the swing.

Her real mother had died a few months after she was born.

I had had a step-mother, and she and I shared a lot of stories in that dorm room. Perhaps I shared more. In my memory, I was more forthcoming than she was.

She shrugged a lot at the end of her stories.

She made me laugh though. She had a quirky sense of humor. “Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?”

“Why?”

“It died. Why did the second monkey fall out of the tree?”

“It died?””

“No. It was stapled to the first monkey.”

I laughed every time. I still laugh.

In favorite photograph of her I am hiding under a pile of pillows and she has a notebook in her hand. On a page she has written bad and drawn an arrow. She’s holding it so that the arrow points towards the pillows.

That was a long time ago.

Please leave your own Friendship Obituary. I plan on this being a series (because unfortunately I’ve the material). Other obituaries welcome.