Thursday, February 12, 2009

Trying to let go

There are some days that I can't stop thinking about a lost friend. It doesn't matter what I am doing, or where I am, he just keeps coming to me.

To be quite honest, I really don't know how I feel about his constant entrance into my mind.

I know what I want to feel when I think about him... that we had a great friendship and great times together. What I get from thinking about him is a depth of sadness that I can't even describe. It is a feeling that I can only compare to when I realized that my last marriage was truly over.

Feelings of sadness of my last divorce are long gone, and replaced by knowing that it was the best thing for my girls and I. I am a much better person and father as a single parent than I ever was while in that relationship.

Which brings me back to my desire of being able to accept that my friend is gone. Maybe, if I can finally let go, I can move on in my own life.

It is something that I have been dealing with for almost 20 years. I am ready to move on and let go if that is even possible. I want to enjoy his visits and stop looking to run from them.

It isn't that he was so young (20), or that stupidity on his part led to his death that bothers me. There are people all over who die young and for stupid reasons. Shit happens. It may not be fair, but that is life and it happens every day.

What I can't seem to overcome is the feeling of why him, and not me? That's a hard thing for me to write, but it is the bottom line.

He always seemed to get the raw deal every where he turned. I, on the other hand, always seemed to have everything handed to me and I always landed on my feet.

Kelby was the life of the party and seemed to always draw people to him. He could make you laugh at any situation and never had a problem of being the butt of a joke. However, it was a mirage of sorts as Kelby dealt with more crap than any young adult and child should ever go through.

It was his battle with adversity that made me feel so much empathy for him. I would have done almost anything to give him just a sprinkle of normalcy that I had.

So, that's it.

I don't understand why he had to have it so hard for so many years. It never seemed right to me that he couldn't just get one break in his life before he died.

I have certainly had my own share of adversity. I have had not one, but two bouts with an illness that could have taken my life. That very fact makes me question why I have been able to overcome obstacles and he wasn't. I am glad I am here and don't wish that I wasn't, I just wish he was too.

While writing this, I am reminded why I started a blog. It wasn't to get awards, or get followers, or meet new people, or to even have other people read my stuff. All of those has been great and I am so appreciative of it.

I started a blog to help me be a better me. I also hoped to get the inside scoop on why I feel the way I do and think about my life. Writing is my vehicle and it has already helped me renew a relationship with my brother.

Now, I hope it can help me start to enjoy a relationship with my friend. I need to finally let go.

And, I need to stop asking why it wasn't me.


  1. Dealing with the loss of a friend when we can't understand why it had to happen, why it was them and not ourselves, those are some tough things to deal with. I can offer no advice except that if blogging has helped you to come to terms with things, keep doing it.
    It's a great way to figure out a lot of things about ourselves.

  2. A very classy and insightful post. Blogging is such a great outlet. Best of luck on letting go of the past.

  3. I've lost many family members, but no friends yet. It must be so sobering and I totally understand the "why not me" mentality. Hoping you can find a way to let him go, while still remembering the good times...

  4. Sometimes I wonder if people like Kelby aren't put on this earth to make us thankful to know them, force us to face the harsh realities of fairness/unfairness (and life/death), and to grant us new insight to who we truly are. It sounds as though Kelby is still bringing you these lessons.
    This is a very moving post, and I hope you have found some peace in writing down the words that so eloquently describe your feelings.

  5. Just reading what you wrote touched my heart and honestly I think you are on your way to healing and learning to let go, you will never forget, but you will learn that you it is ok for you to continue LIVING and not ask why? Sometimes in life we just arent always meant to know why? Life is about a whole bunch of learning. So learn from this and grow from it. In some way it will help you become an even better person.

  6. I suck at letting go, too. I really believe, though, that is no reason for why something happens to one person and not another... it just is. In the end, all you can do is live your life the best way you know how... get as much out of it before you go. That's what your friend would have wanted for you... and it's what you owe yourself.

  7. It's always been the disappointment that hurts the most for me. Of remembering what was and what could have been. Its not the kind of feeling that fades with time.

  8. Why do we have to let go of the past? Why not incorporate it into your present? I think you've alredy done that by the names you gave two of your girls. Maybe you need his voice to ask you "What's Up?" It might just keep things in perspective for you.

  9. Letting the guilt go, will allow you to enjoy your friend's visits to your mind.
    We are all the some of our parts ~ & past!

  10. And of course, that should SUM of our parts/parts!
    Wool gathering in my head!

  11. There was a period in my 20's when I focused a lot on "Why's" and many "Why me's?" I think it's important to ask the question...just be ready to sit still and listen for the answer! I don't mean to sound cliche but I do believe there are reasons for things...I don't believe in random events...but that's just my belief!
    Again, a cliche...but a comet burns brightly yet we never forget the light!

  12. Very touching and insightful. You are certainly wrestling with one of the most difficult questions life offers us.

  13. Dealing with loss is different for each and every single individual. We won't ever forget or get over it, because it's a milestone that happens and effects us very deeply & personally, but there will come a time, when the timing is right, and only you will know when that happens that months, years, may get a little easier where it's fun to look back on the good times and you're very thankful for those because it's largly because of each of our friends that we have achieved and are where we are today.
    The memories won't go away, but you'll have an angel constantly rooting for you, he wouldn't want you to be down, but sometimes we never knwo the why's and what if's which is so frustrating to our human nature.
    Very touching post, hang in there :)

  14. Just surfing around and found your blog.
    If you have a moment, please visit my blog.
    It's a blog for bloggers that helps search engines find you....


  15. I can't add anything to the previous comments except to say that the people you love are so very fortunate.

  16. People come into our lives when we need them to and they leave in the same manner. Because we are human we don't question why they come into our lives, only why they had to leave. You were touched by this special person for a reason. Your life has changed in a way it was suppose to because of him, including the lessons you took away about death. Know this, appreciate it, and it will be easier to move on.

    Best of luck!

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. My husband was a USMC doorgunner in Vietnam. Everyday he saw his friends being taken. What bothered him the most was that his friend, the one he had played high school football and basketball with, the one who signed up for the Marines with him on the buddy program, was killed by sniper fire shortly after he arrived in Vietnam.

    Most of us can't imagine what goes through someone's head in a situation like that. But whether it be war, ill health, of a freak accident, the pain of losing a loved-one is never diminished. The "Why me?" (as in, "Why did I get to live?") feeling will linger for an eternity. It is how we deal with that feeling that makes us a better or worse person.

    I know that not a day goes by that my husband does not wonder why he is here and his friend is gone. It is something he does not like to talk about, but I try to make him understand that life has a divine plan, and that his friend was needed in Heaven, and he was needed here. And because he is here, he should follow life's plan and be the best person he can be for himself and for those around him. He understands that.

    Sometimes, to understand the non-understandable is the first step in moving on.

    You are a great dad, and you deserve all the best that life has to offer.

  19. I live with similar, tis called survivors guilt...My husband died when I was 30... everyone coped, but from that point on i was overwhelmed with why him and not I... at first it was disabling...but now its just nestled in the back of my mind... spose that doesnt help you any :) but your the first person Ive met who has experienced similar... I have no wise words...

    ps, thanks for stopping by my place...

  20. My kids lost a classmate this week- he was a student at SDSU. I ache his parents.

  21. Your friend gives you wonderful gifts in his visits and memories. And he tackled his life lessons quickly when he was here. Know that he is at peace and you can and deserve to be as well! He is proud of you!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  22. I also think of Kelby and Chris often... it also angers me they never got to expeirence the joys and pains of parenthood and so much more. Your posting makes me remember this quote.

    "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."

    You know where this comes from because it's also my favorite book. I wrote this down in high school and carried it in my wallet for years. Kelby was true courage everyday he lived and his memories continue to inspire many of us who were fortunate to know him.