Never have I ever been more grateful for my husband.
We just arrived home from a night with my family. We took the kiddo and pooch over to grandpa and grandma's, spent the night swimming and joking about life. We talked our Mexico trips and great times we've experienced together. We invited the favorite neighbors over and tossed back a few drinks. The entire night was light, carefree. Easy.
But my heart was burdened.
Last night I sent a mass text inviting all our closest friends and family over next weekend for a little night at Casa Kinch. No strings attached just a night to enjoy company and a few drinks together. A night to take a load off and one to laugh all throughout. In that mass text was one of my closest friends. A friend I've been through thick and thin with. A friend it didn't matter how long the time went between us without talking, we'd pick right back up where we started before. A friend I love and can't imagine life without.
I got a text back with a little urgency and pain. They weren't the same friend I remembered from a few months back. They weren't the same friend that jokes about all things in life and who kept my heart light. I wrote about one of my most painful memories back here and after hearing from this friend, I feel even more raw and broken. Completely helpless and burdened.
A simple reply that caused me pain:
"Hey AB I've been meaning to contact you. Do you think you'd be able to talk tomorrow?"
"Yeah, of course. If everything okay?"
"I mean, no one is hurt or anything but I'm having a hard time with things."
"Okay, you can call me tomorrow whenever."
"OK will do. Miss you. Have a good night."
"Miss you too, talk to you tomorrow!"
Noon on Saturday a two hour phone call and many tears later, I learned my closest friend was dealing with a deeper depression than I ever thought they would and I learn suicidal thoughts are the only thing coming to their mind. I learn life has become all motions with no feeling and the only thing holding them here is the hurt it would cause their family to take their life. I've learned methods of what they think would accomplish a death. I've learned the hardships I never thought they were going through. I learned their heart has been broken and they're laying out to dry. I've learned they have nothing left to look forward to.
We talk about losing our closest friend in high school. I remind them how that made each of us feel and how it still stings our hearts. I ask if that's what they want to put me through again, knowing just how bad it hurts. I ask if there is something I can do to bring any type of light and happiness in their world.
I pray often during this phone call. Asking for God's wisdom and words to wrap around me and bring peace but this person is not a believer and I don't believe they ever will be. All I can hope for is they see God's love through me by my actions.
They tell me after years of depression, I'm their only friend they can come to and confide in. I'm told after years of trying to make new friends, I'm truly the only one who has their heart. I'm told since fourth grade this person has looked to me for guidance and love and that's why they are so glad I reached out on a simple Friday night with a small invite. They feel had I not done so, it would have been only a matter of time before I got a call with devastating news.
This person tells me over and over the love they have for me and my marriage. They tell me they are happy they witnessed that special night in my life. They confess they thought it would be them someday and they're saddened they don't think I'll witness a wedding of theirs. They open up about their parents and deaths they've dealt with in the past year within their family. I'm shocked to hear their most prized grandma is on her way out. It hurts my heart knowing they were so close to her and I know that kind of pain they're about to feel from that blow.
Death isn't easy. I don't think it was ever designed to be. I feel it was something God intended to be a celebration. A new beginning with our Lord for all eternity. But what happens to our loved ones who don't believe? What happens when they sin as their last act on this earth? Doesn't that leave some kind of uneasing pain that's not erasable? Doesn't that make me feel even more helpless knowing you won't see them for all eternity in Heaven?
The phone call is left with many tears and I love yous. It's left with a sense of doom in my heart. I hang up thinking to myself what can I do to make this better for them? How can I help in even the smallest way? Should I send cards, texts, voice mails telling them how much they mean to me? Should I simply ask them to lunch weekly or just send a simple email with something to brighten their day? Do I leave all on the line explaining to them the raw pain they'd be putting me through? Do I turn selfish and make them realize what they're leaving behind is something worth living for? How do I shake them from this hurt and numbness with a sense of grace and love? What can I do that keeps them wanting more? Keeps them eager for rebuilding a life that's memorable and a life that is filled with many people who love them.
I am being selfish right now, I've lost one best friend by an accident, I lost an uncle to suicide and I've seen my husband face a death through suicide. It hurts my heart and it rocks my soul. It's never something I'd wish on my deepest enemy. It's something that will always leave me guessing if I had sent one more text or asked them on another lunch date, would that have changed their heart?
WHAT COULD I HAVE DONE TO MAKE THIS DIFFERENT?!
Monday is a day I plan to wake their ass up with a phone call, reminding them I have plans for lunch with them whether they like it or not. I won't be sugar coating a damn thing and I will make them remember the pain we both felt when our best friend was taken far too soon in a terrible accident.
Tonight I sat in my husband's arms crying, many more tears than I'd cried in years. He held me, stating over and over to remember these emotions so I can share them with my dearest friend. He told me if this is what they chose, know I had been there cheering them and their life on up until the last minute.
Again, I say, I have never been more grateful for my loving, endearing and encouraging husband.