Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Requiem for a Friendship

Following the death of his father, Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote this amazing piece of music, Pie Jesu, which was sung by his then wife, Sarah Brightman. I think Sarah is basically a big cow but her voice is truly an instrument. It is crystal; it is as clear as 1st violin solo and as haunting.

Andrew has always reminded me of a turtle but again, his work is astounding. I had the thrill of seeing Phantom of the Opera for the first time in Los Angeles, performed by Michael Crawford, who originated the role of The Phantom in London. What always struck me about Webber's gift was its ability to allow him to so beautifully express emotions, in the case of Pie Jesu, his grief.

My birthday was this past Sunday and my best friend, didn't call and hasn't sent a card. I miss her and I miss our relationship in the same way that I would its death.

Chris and I began our friendship when she transferred to my school in 7th grade and we began bike riding together. She is/was my soulmate in a way that I don't know that spouses can ever be. Someone who totally got me and loved me anyway. She and I shared every secret. We traveled to Bermuda together senior year in high school and went on a cruise together for her bachelorette party. I've pulled her away from the wrong guy at a club and she's held my hair when I threw up from too much booze.

When she got married in 1994, we spent the week leading up to her wedding doing last minute tasks and drinking cheap champagne everyday. When her dad died nearly 10 years ago, she asked me to go back to her mom's house after the wake because my presence comforted her. I knew where the wine glasses were before her own brother did and I was lumped together by her mother with Chris and her sisters as one of "her girls." I was in the hospital room with Chris and her husband the day her son was born, toasting him with champagne.

We used to go walking together for miles and miles and always said that it was cheaper than therapy and better aerobic exercise as we solved all our problems as the day turned to night. Together with her cousin and our friend, Wendy, the four of us played together throughout our 20s and into marriage and babies. We claimed that anyone near us at a restaurant got an earful funnier, raunchier, and more accurate than any episode of Sex and the City.

Now I'm at home and Chris is back to work as a teacher. I've seen her two or three times in the past year and talked to her by phone only a handful more. We've lost our connection.

I understand that we're all busy with our lives, I understand that her boys are in different places than mine. I get all of that but that doesn't change the fact that I miss her and I worry about her. She needs my friendship as much as I need hers. It's a touchstone, a reality check, something to feel good about - someone who knows who we really are - not who we pretend or want to be.

I don't know that we can ever pick up where we were. I don't know if there will ever be a person in my life that I am so totally connected with. And I'm angry and sad and it reduces me to tears. Like a death.

4 comments:

Sue said...

I'm so sorry. Big hugs to you, dear friend.

Elizabeth said...

I'm sorry, that sucks. Hopefully the two of you will be able to reconnect soon.

Aiden and Brenden's Mom said...

I say just call her and say "Hey, did you forget something?" then she can say she's sorry for not calling and you can tell her you miss her and then make plans to get together set the time and date before you hang up otherwise your just going to feel bad and she'll never know. True friends put it out there and move past it.

Good Luck and I remembered to say Happy Birthday! ;)

Andrea said...

Happy belated birthday!

I had to comment on this entry because I know exactly how you feel. I also grieve the loss of the constancy and loyalty of my best friend from HS. We have grown apart steadily since our mid-30s. Lots of reasons. But it is never too late to make new best friends. :-)

 

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