Wednesday, 13 August 2008

You Know Me So Well

Many things have changed in the last three years of my life.

My very existence is entirely different to what it was, and to whatever I imagined it to be – so much for long-term thinking.

We’ve moved around a lot, and even built our own home, which hopefully we are settling in for the long-term, or, based on my previous sentence, this week anyway.

My job went, along with it the healthy salary. A new career has yet to fully evolve, but I’m sure whatever I do, it will bear very little relevance to my previous employment.

The one thing I never thought would happen was that my circle of close friends would change as drastically as it has.

It was predicted by various people around me, and from those I sought counsel.

For many I think they found it difficult to engage with me, or felt discomfort doing so.

Generally my friendships were based on humour and not taking anything too seriously.

But, in the blink of an eye, or in my case, the miss of a heartbeat.

Life got deadly serious.

I couldn’t really fault the actions of my chums in the immediate aftermath of Samantha’s passing, they were all there if I needed them.

It’s in the period since, that some of my relationships have drifted, no doubt in part because my priorities have changed, and my time has not been as freely available.

But overwhelmingly because some stopped making the effort.

I haven’t lost touch with anyone I didn’t want to. My friendships are just different.

In some cases they actually seem to getting closer again, perhaps because others are maturing, and now finding more common ground with me.

That or enough time has elapsed for them to feel comfortable again with our humour based relationship.

My humour didn't really ever leave.

Throughout all this though, one friend, and his friendship has become even greater. I would have called him my best friend before, and we did do a lot together and as a four-piece (with our respective wives in tow).

We know each other even better now.

In fact he knows me that well, that when reading a feature in The Daily Express that included an interview with me.

He said “That isn’t entirely accurate is it? Not in a bad way, but did they make any notes?”

Which I thought was reasonably observant of him as there were a few minor un-truths in the piece.

But I’m not sure he’d seen all of them.

“You’d have never said ‘women are just better at some things’ – I know you.”

How very true.

Nb. I know there probably are some things, and between us we did think of a few that won’t be repeated on here, but purely for comedy and emphasis purposes you understand, I shall be wearing my sexist hat for the duration of this post. Share/Save/Bookmark


Kori said...

I am not and will not compare my divorce to the death of your wife, but I DO think that friendships change because people don't know what to say, or how to act. People that you previoulsy knew as part of a couple no longer feel comfortable having you over to do those things, nor do you feel entirely comfortable with them. Etc. And yeah, yeah, I am preaching to the choir, because you know all of this, but I just wanted to tell you that I relate, at least in a small way.

Single Parent Dad said...

I think it's down as well to people feeling uncomfortable and imagining things to be a lot worse than the reality. People would be scarred off, worrying about saying the wrong thing, and bar ridiculing my late wife's death, there was actually little chance of them ever saying the wrong thing.

Kori said...

Oh hey, I forgot to tell you to look for my post today-you are in it.

Penelope said...

Kori took the words right out of my keyboard ;o)
My circle of friends also dramatically changed after my divorce and now, 6 years on, some are gone for good and some are stronger than ever.
C'est la vie *sigh*

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Like Kori, my situation is also different to yours but with some parallels in the friendship regard.

I've genuinely been surprised and disappointed by the reaction of some friends to our situation. What was a pretty honest and straight up relationship, despite being, like your based on taking the p*** out of each other, has faded away.

He no longer even asks how we are doing or what's the latest development.

Luckily, and just as surprisingly, these situations create heroes, and other friends rise to the surface and give you the support you need.

Nice post this.

Single Parent Dad said...

Cheers Kori.

Glad to hear I'm not on my own Penelope and Xbox

swile67 said...

so true...friendships constantly change as we journey through life...sometimes it sucks and sometimes it's good. it is so interesting to me how so many people are uncomfortable with death and knowing how to come alongside to suuport friends/family...i don't know why people avoid when i'm sure they know that is not what the person who experienced the loss needs.

Snickollet said...

I just found your blog via Crash Course Widow.

I'm so sorry about our wife.

I have read only the first few of your posts and I look forward to reading more. I will say for now that this notion of changed and unexpected friendships hit home for me. I have been amazed since John's death at how some people I thought I could count on for anything have not been there at all, and some people I would not have said I was particularly close with have been right there for me.

People have different comfort levels around loss. Sometimes that's very hard for me to accept. I often find myself wanting things that my friends can't give. It's another layer of grief.

Single Parent Dad said...

I'm not sure either Swile. But in many ways it sorts out who your real friends are, and identifies the emotional strong from the emotionally stunted.

Glad you found me Snickollet. I hope you continue to find my stuff interesting to read.

Jackie said...

I have been experiencing a similar phenomenon since the death of my husband. I now quote a friend of mine who went through this when dying of cancer, "They don't want to catch 'dead'." I don't know if it's true, but I do think that many people don't want to think about 'it'. It scares them.
I am finding that my close friends have become closer as well....I don't think I would have ever guessed that someone would feel so supported and comforted by a few of my good friends. I apprecaite them so tremendously.....
Sorry, I think I just wrote my comment primarily about me. Damn.
I have been reading your blog. Thank you for writing about your experiences as well.

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