Tonight, a good friend did something very special for me. They went out to dinner with me to help me process my grief about Andrea’s death.
My Helpful Friend is something of a subject matter expert themselves on this matter, having recently had to deal with a death themselves.
So we met. We sat. We talked. I almost-cried a few times. I ate steak. It was good.
One super helpful thing my friend described to me is that I would run into two sorts of pain in my grieving.
- Punches to the head
- Punches to the gut
Type 1 punches are the things that make you think, that make you dig in, obsess, dredge up grief you thought you had already worked through and revisit it.
Whereas type 2 punches are those quick, sharp, knock-the-wind out of you experiences. Something catches you off guard, and you suddenly don’t quite know how you feel.
Here’s the thing though. While experiencing these punches doesn’t feel very good, it’s normal and kind of good for you.
Andrea, she carved this special place in my heart, in my life. I’m utterly, incontrovertibly changed by our friendship. I don’t want that not to matter. I welcome both the pain and the pleasure of how much she meant to me, and still means to me, even in her death.
I know that that’s uncomfortable. I know that it’s not easy, not for me, and not for you.
I’m grateful for the discomfort. And I’m grateful you’ve stuck around to share in it with me.
In a way, that was at the heart of my friendship with Andrea. On the regular, we challenged one another, called each other on our bullshit. My friend I had dinner with tonight helped me with some of that too, as we ate, commiserated, and connected. It was damn fine.
I’m grateful for such good friends, those now gone, and those still with me.