The question of timing.

A few nights ago I had a dream about someone I used to know. Three years ago, almost exactly, this person came into my life suddenly, became family, before I could blink. One year ago, almost exactly, she disappeared from my life just as quickly and as suddenly as she entered.

 Nothing I could do or say would have dictated the path that my relationship took with this person. I didn't have a choice. She was a piece of my family for a moment in time and taken out by extenuating circumstances that I might never understand. I was left with nothing but a one-sided explanation, an expectation to accept, and no room to grieve my loss. Other people around me had more of a right to grieve than I did, and it wasn't understood by anyone that I might be experiencing a loss, too. It occurred to me multiple times that it might be a cordial thing to reach out and say goodbye to her, but I was asked not to contact her, and it's likely she did not want to be contacted, either.

In the two years I knew her, my relationship with this person was a little rocky. She was a kind, good-hearted, creative individual, but she was misunderstood in a lot of ways. Coming into a tight-knit circle of people may have been a difficult thing to cope with. Really, I don't know. I don't know what it was like to be her. I know she made a genuine effort to be friends, a close loved-one with me. I don't know if I ever extended the same courtesy to her. I had my guard up most of the time, beat myself daily to knock it down but I never really could. I am not sure what it was about her that kept me in my shell. Maybe it was her, but maybe it was just me. Maybe the two of us were more alike than we realized, and for that our friendship was doomed from the start.

In the dream I had, she was back. The hole left by her was filled. Waking to find it was a dream felt like a disappointment. Even though she's been gone for a full year, life now feels askew from her absence.

From my journal: Sometimes I think of you and know that at a different place and time we could have been friends.
I hear she is doing well. Traces of her filter the air around me from time to time, in the form of a beautiful two year old girl who reminds me so much of her. If she did come back today, to be our lives again, I think I would try harder to get to know her. It's interesting how three years can change your perspective.