Beginning the Healing Process
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” The day I came back from California in the summer of 2006, I found out that my father had been killed in a mountaineering accident. Clearly, I was more than devastated and it took several of my best friends to bring me back to reality and to begin the healing process. I believe in the power of friendship, no matter what happens.
The first thing that I knew was the Taylor knew what had happened. Taylor was and had been one of my best friends since I had met her at our barn, about five years ago. After a difficult night of disbelief and shock morning came, along with a call from her. As soon as I answered she said “are you at your house? I’m coming to get you, we’re going somewhere.” Her mom drove us to a fairly familiar sight, a McDonalds with a play-place. I’m not even sure why we went there, but it must have just seemed like a place that was quiet, and not too busy at the time. Neither of us had much of an appetite for the greasy food but she dragged me into the play-place, and we shed our shoes and climbed inside the plastic structure. At one point a little boy found it hilarious to chase us, pop up and shriek, “boo!” Shrieking we would dash away and hide in another place, our socks slipping on the plastic, and trying to suppress giggles. It gave me something to take my mind off of the pressing matters and driving home I realized that I actually felt better.
Shock often stays with you for a while and it is difficult to shed. Almost two weeks after Taylor brought me to that McDonalds and started the slow process of healing I got another call from a good friend. It was my friend Megan, affectionately called ‘McG’. She came bearing a dozen cookies along with balloons. We went out putt-putt golfing at the golf course close to my house. Neither of us were very good at it but not only did we not take score, we cheated in everyway possible. It is almost impossible not to laugh when recalling how ridiculous the ways we got that little ball into the hole were.
Of course death hurts, and it will forever leave you with an invisible scar, especially when you lose a prominent figure in your life. You will never forget that person, or be able to clear your head of thoughts of them, but there are ways to ease that hurt. It comes in those people who you like to be around, and are lucky enough to call your friend. When you need them the most, they will always have your back, be there for you, and most importantly be able to act selflessly in your times of trouble and need. Looking back at when my friends had to do this for me, all I can say is, thank you, thank you, and thank you again.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.