Letter to a Friend

Dear Friend,

I should be very hurt that you were noticeably absent at a time when I needed you most.  I should be furious that you didn’t open your emails or text or call me or anyone else, so that you would know the date and be there.  I should be, but I am not.

In the past, more layers of armor would have been methodically stacked to further insulate me from further transgressions.  That hasn’t happened either.  It’s not the past, but the present.  The present is different.

In the past, the blinds would have been tightly drawn, but not this time.   They are still open. Wide open for the light to enter.

I know what happened wasn’t intentional.  You called. You tried to come over, to  bring food and a loving embrace, but I was on my way to the beach, to try to forget, as if that was possible.  And you, you  had a brain blip. A smart fart. A ball drop, at the most inopportune time…

You, the smartest, most brilliant person I know…went blond. Bleached blond.

But I know it wasn’t on purpose, and I forgive you for not being there.  You are the person who never remembers how old you are, or the year you were born.  You forgot to go to a wedding.  The only person that does that is you.  It is who you are. Nothing malicious or intentional, just the absentminded professor that is you.

I went silent, and you knew exactly what to do. You went silent too. And it is for this silence on your part that I thank you.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, your move was your way of showing that  you really understood. ..

You let me be, alone with myself, with my thoughts and my pain and my confusion. No texts or emails or calls to school.  No messages left on my cell or expectations or timelines.  No impulsive attempts to apologize or beg forgiveness. No pressures to do or be something that, quite frankly, I just can’t do or be right now.

You too went silent, but it was purposeful and gentle and loving. It was done for me.

The silence, this leave of absence, has enabled me to process, to be rational, to reflect and to take it for what it really was: a mistake, an meaningless mistake.  And because of that, I have found my way back…

All thanks to time.

Your knowing what I needed has been the best gift you could have given me at a terrible time in my life.  It has been subtle and thought-provoking, much like a flourless chocolate cake or a bold red wine…

I should be hurt, but I am not. Instead I am grateful.




Comments welcome.  Please share your thoughts.







6 thoughts on “Letter to a Friend

  1. I’m worried that I’ve been that friend to another in the past. Not for the same reasons, but the same friend nonetheless. I would be extremely grateful for your forgiveness and grace.


  2. Hi Aileen. I doubt that you need forgiveness from me. We have only met virtually and only have a handful of people in common, at best. I know you have not met the person this letter is written for; I wrote it after I had a very similar conversation in which I thanked her for understanding me more than I realized. I have also written about this friend’s brother during the challenge. The writing has brought quite a bit of clarity to my life, and so a lot of the posts are really clarifying and purging ideas rolling around my head.


  3. I am crying. I’ve been on both sides of this letter. Right now I am missing a friend who has left. I wonder if I could write a letter as powerful as this one. Thank you for sharing these thoughts! WOW!!!


    1. Oh…I am sorry Michelle. My intention is never to make people cry, but to give some free dom to my soul. I have seen what you are able to write while sick with the flu, so this should be a piece of cake. I think the trick is to wait until the idea bubbles to the surface and continues bubbling there until the time where it flows easily. Thank you for your kind words to this post. I know my writing isn’t always the sunniest, or the writing that makes you smile the most, but it does make ya feel (or some I am told) something…


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