A Letter To My Friends For When I Seem Distant

Dear friends, if I haven’t told you about this crippling tragedy that I am dealing with at the moment, it is not because I don’t find your support helpful or because I don’t value our friendship. It simply means I am not ready to talk about it. My heart isn’t ready. So I hope you understand that I just need some time.

Dear friends, I may lie to you and say “I’m good,” even though in actuality, I am withering inside. Believe me, it’s nothing against you—I just can’t talk about it yet. Don’t get mad if I’m feeling distant or if my responses have been curt, I just don’t have the strength to explain it all and I am fighting my own feelings every minute just so I can get through the day. So please be patient, for I long for your warmth and your comfort because I’ll need it. I just need some space for the time being.

Some events, like one that deals with loss and death, are something we all have to deal with at some point. But no matter how prepared we are with the concept of death, its arrival might still shake you to the core. No matter how long ago we saw it coming, we will still be gutted when it happens. It’s inevitable. That is what happens when you love and care for someone dearly. And if we didn’t see it coming? Suddenly everything doesn’t make sense, even if we try to make sense of it. The denial may be deeper because of its untimeliness. We aren’t prepared for this one to come this soon, perhaps.

Even as I am writing this, I am still trying to make sense of it all. I still can’t put the emotions onto the page. I’m dancing around the truth that they are gone. I don’t believe it, I can’t. I still don’t. I find myself feeling guilty when I don’t mull over the memories of them because thinking about them reminds me that they are no longer with us. I am scared that the truth—no, the acceptance of this truth—will totally destroy me. Is this act of self-preservation selfish? I should be spending my time running through all the moments I had with them so I can prolong my memory of them, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I just can’t. I know I’ll break down instantly. I wish we had more time; maybe then this will be easier.

Truth is, no matter how many extra hours or days are granted, it’ll still hurt like hell. We always want a little more time. But such is the law of nature; sometimes this is all we’ve got, so I’m going to cherish every minute we had. I have so much more to say to you, but I still need some more time before I can tell you everything. For now, I’ll just say thank you for being a part of my life—you’ve made it infinitely better and I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for it.

Dear friends, I still don’t want to talk about it. I’m sorry, I still need some time. Right now, I urge you all to take the time to cherish your loved ones because tomorrow is not guaranteed. Love a little harder, hug a little tighter, stay a little longer; it’ll be worth more than you’ll know.

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Astrid Perez is a 30-something madness with stardust around her eyes and a pen name. Her writing strives to give people permission to take up space in the world as their multifaceted, complex, human selves. Her soul is happiest when she is reading, or being around people who lift up her spirits.

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