Thursday, September 13, 2012

relationships with risk

My morning runs always seem to be my time where I figure out life's puzzles (or find more life questions to ask). There's something about that me time when I can reflect, pray, organize my thoughts, and focus on myself that is very centering.

This morning I felt a little disappointed about the relationships in my life. With life changing so much in the last 6 months or so, I've noticed a lot of people stepping back. And I get it, I really do. My life stays so busy now with a house of seven. But I have not stopped needing any of those relationships in my life, or craving them. I know that since my life no longer qualifies as "tragic" and people assume I'm all "better" they've stopped calling, writing, commenting, coming around, or even talking about Jeremy. This breaks my heart, and makes grief harder. There are still those few people who are very dear to me who have been there for me when I need them, but overall I've noticed a change. 

The change is not only grief related. For whatever reason, I've had multiple friendships throughout my life that have dissipated due to elements out of my control or for reasons I didn't even know about. It's one of the hardest transitions to go through in relationships; feeling like you would do anything you can to fix/change/maintain the relationship, and it moves on without you. 

No matter how much I tried to distract myself with other things this morning during my run, my brain kept going back to that hurt and I kept wondering 'why do I bother letting people in so close if I always end up getting so hurt by it?' People I let close either die or leave. This was a hard reality to choke down today.

But the truth I discovered this morning was that I keep seeking out and aching for those relationships because they're life-changing. Those relationships, whether short-term or long-term, have made me who I am and have taught me so much along the way. Sure, there's risk involved - that's true of any relationship. But the risk is worth it. It's worth the risk to have a friend who can share life's burdens with you so you don't have to carry them yourself. It's worth the risk to have a relationship with someone who knows you're crazy and loves you anyway. 

I could safe-guard my heart and stay away from getting too close to people who could really hurt me. But then, how safe would that actually be when I am missing out on one of the biggest blessings in life? How safe would it actually be for me when I end up carrying all my baggage alone? A girl could get seriously hurt doing that. 

So, I'll stand by, waiting for transition to take its course and trying to remember that the risk is worth it. I will also continue to pray that I can embrace and invest in those special people in my life now and be a worthy risk for someone else.


  1. Hi Vee - this is SO TRUE. At my son's memorial service only 6 months ago, I remember my pastor saying "Grief is the price we pay for love - the more we love the more we grieve". I was pretty numb the day I heard those words - but now that the numbness has worn off and I feel my grief full force, I understand what these words mean. I am truly sad about some of my friends who there that sad day who said they would be there for me- and they have just disappeared into their own lives. I do understand - they have moved on. But I am still stuck on that day - and only a choice few have stayed back with me.

  2. Diane,

    Thanks for your comment. It's hard when others don't understand the path that you walked on and surely when they said that, they meant it. But when grief starts, sometimes life stops - but only for us. The rest of the world keeps going and sometimes it just sucks.

  3. Our family and friends are gifts, not a given. And let us be there for others when we can how we can.

  4. I too lost some friends since my husband died. Some I was very shocked to realize had quit calling, others I kind of knew were fair weather friends and so not so shocking. I have read where in five years out we won't have any of the same friends as we are very different people now. We now need different things from friends. I have a few special friends I would like to hang on to so I make special effort to be a friend to them, to keep calling, to try to not always be the needy one and keep the relationships more even. Hope it helps!

  5. Grief and loss impact our trust and our ability to move forward in new relationships, as well as how others react to the newly-widowed. Friends are lifesavers. Much of this is the theme of both my memoirs, Again in a Heartbeat and its sequel Morning at Wellington Square.

    I have been widowed for 18 years and it truly is a journey. I wrote about it in the quest to heal and offer my story to others going through the same thing in their lives, particulary the journey as a single middle-aged woman. They key is connecting with your passion in life and finding renewal.