Whatta December, What December?
It was a hell of a month. Which is too bad because Christmas is my very favorite time of the year. I would like to formally ask for a redo.
Some of the things that occurred I’m open to talking about and some I’m not ready to yet. Please be assured my health and relationship are healthy and intact. In fact, Levi has been a wonderful source of support.
I lost one of my best friends unexpectedly in the middle of December. And I say that with some hesitation, because for about seven years we were best friends, but that was 10 years ago. His loss asked me to take a look at our friendship and how it came into a quiet place and how friendships can do that.
In yoga, we call channels ‘nadis.’ Nadis can be vessels, arteries, our elimination system. They can be hallways or routes. They can also manifest themselves into the form of relationships. Relationships with people or experiences (i.e., trauma). Some of these channels stay open and some of them close. Maybe a person you only knew a short time and didn’t leave a big impact on you, could be an example of a nadi that closed. Whereas a person who had a profound impact on you might be a nadi that stays open or reopens.
I’ve been blessed with more friends than I ever expected to have. Walking into the hospital during his last few days and then later for the services, I was flooded with the feeling of being home again as I reacquainted with people who I knew so well for a long stretch of time. As we sat around and shared stories, I think we were all reminded of the power our friendship had and how its still alive. It was also nice to see so many people in a different phase of their lives and how they’ve changed and who they have chosen to love.
Best friends are an interesting thing that I’m sure everyone has had to reexamine at different points of their lives. How do you define your best friend? Are they always your best friend or do they get demoted? Just because you’re not as close, does that change their role? Some people come into your life and never leave, some people are only apart of your story for a short time. And others are present, but only play a big role for a few seasons and then have a reoccurring role periodically later on, like Rob Lowe in The West Wing.
Any of those descriptions are not meant to diminish the power of that friendship and in some cases, highlight the depth of its character. By opening the nadi of the relationship, you can become flooded with everything else that time or person encapsulated. The stories you shared, the names of ‘that person from the thing’ and all the other quirks and antidotes that go with them. The reason death hurts so badly, is because we are genuinely losing a part of ourselves by losing the other.
This idea is best expressed in John Donne’s poem, For Whom the Bell Tolls:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. 1-800-662-HELP (4357).