A letter to a friend

It is not enough to say I am sorry. It was your funeral today; I was not present. I did not visit you the last month of your life – when you knew and I knew it was time to say good bye. I was just absent. I was absent from your life and to a great extent I was absent from my own life. I cry for you and I cry for myself. Maybe it is appropriate that it should rain today.

I go over the details of the past six weeks again and again trying to find a space in my own life where I could have been a support to you, but end up with valid excuses time and again placing me not in a place of acceptance but in a place of discomfort. ‘

I failed you because of urgency, a dilemma that came up in my own life that I had to take care of. A sense of groundlessness took hold of me and most times I could hardly support my own emotional fragility. You will understand if I tell you that my son’s life was hanging on a threat – that I worked during the day and sat next to him during the dark hours of every night, time had no meaning, in fact nothing had any meaning. Day was night and night was day; perhaps we were at the same place, but in different states. There was an entrance and an exit, but none of us could find any.

I lost complete control of direction and purpose, waiting for a phone call to end it all. I wanted my son to know that I was there, even in his complete absence, floating in a world I could not enter. In between I sent you SMSs which you know I detest, but that was the only support I could offer – ‘’Thinking about you. Love” – while my heart was busy dying for all the untold pain. I hope you understand. I will never know, but I tell myself so.

And when at last my son came back slowly from the Neverland, you started disappearing. I wanted you to hold on a little longer but my timing was wrong, it was too late. Since all is connected in the Universe I am sure this message will get through and even now as I am writing you this note you know that in my heart I was with you during those last days, last hours.

I did not so much let you down, as I let myself down. I was just so immensely exhausted by carrying my own trauma constantly; hoping and bargaining, believing and doubting. The intensity thereof consumed all my emotional resources and I ended up empty handed. I am so sorry.

Think of me. I am.

Written by Dr Magda Rall.

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