Last year, I lost a friendship that I never expected to lose.
I was under the impression that it was one of those rare, unspoken We'll always be friends, no matter what covenants.
How wrong I was.
I make sincere efforts to avoid this sort of disclosure in this forum, afraid of coming across as some attention-whoring drama queen.
But sometimes, the pain of this loss is so searing that I simply must regurgitate it.
[I will heretofore refer to the Friend Who Bailed as FWB.]
I am the sort of person who makes concerted efforts to get along with everybody.
I try to locate the good in my fellow humans, persistently searching for common ground and points of connection.
I treasure every friendship that I have, and although I have a myriad of foibles like everybody else (chief among them, absentminded procrastinator), I am vigilant about caring for my friends.
Therefore, even when what I must say to them is difficult, I make every effort to cushion my words with encouragement and love, so as never to hurt them or make them feel unloved.
I sent a message to FWB, containing words I had sculpted very carefully, so as not to offend FWB or make FWB feel slighted or attacked.
Imagine my surprise when, after reading these words, FWB refused to contact me for four months.
After spending some time together after the initial 'silent treatment' period, FWB decided that I was "a totally different person;" so different, in fact, that FWB no longer desired any sort of friendship with me.
As you might imagine, this news was devastating.
Over the past several months, I have made many efforts to apologize profusely and appeal to FWB, attempting to mend what I never meant to fracture.
Every effort has been futile.
FWB continues to behave as though I do not exist.
Most of the time, I can focus on the friendships I do have and enjoy, cherishing the connections with those who are eager and delighted to be my beloved friends.
There are moments, however, when FWB's rejection bends me to the ground with grief.
I was once assured by a wise clergyman that, in conflict, if I have done everything I possibly can to humble myself and make amends, then I need to surrender.
It sounds so simple.
I really wish it were.