|photo by Jean Ann Williams|
“But you, O LORD, are on high forever.”
I punched in my friend’s phone number and got her answering machine.
Again, after my third attempt to reach her.
I wrinkled my brow and hung up this time without leaving a message. What was going on? Why wouldn’t she call me back? Surely, she wasn’t avoiding me after years of friendship.
I waited for her to call me as my birthday came and left. Now, I waited for her call when her birthday passed within a month of mine. What about our annual birthday lunch? Did she forget? Feeling sad over her silence, I received her Christmas card in the mail. She did not write anything but her name. No “how are you doing?” No glowing words like she used to write.
I blinked as I reread her signature.
Did I mean so little to her when I needed her most? If I’d done something wrong, I knew her well enough to know that she was not afraid to confront. Now, I had a new loss to grieve. I struggled through all those stages of sorrow and anger.
Much later, I spoke to my hospice therapist about feeling abandoned by someone I thought of as a good friend. The therapist said, “You know, Jean, it’s another loss for sure. But some people don’t know what to say or do when someone they know suffers a loss from suicide.” She shrugged. “Your friend might feel you are better off without her.”
I squeezed my eyes to keep the tears back. “She’s my best friend.”
“I’m so sorry, Jean.” The counselor was shaking her head, and her eyes had filled with tears.
Father God, I’m so sorry also. I don’t know that I will be able to understand how my friend could leave our relationship without an explanation. I feel wronged. Please help me to forgive her. In Jesus’s holy name. Amen.