Last night, I had dinner with a former colleague who got… fired. She’s happy now at another company, and we’ve kept in touch since her departure. Over wine and salad, we chatted about what she’s been up to since leaving, and she told me that although there were people who had not reached out to her at my company who she was friends with, she was sure that they did care. I couldn’t hide my irritation at her naivete and flat out told her that she was deluded if she thought that they actually cared; if they were “friends,” wouldn’t they have already reached out to her even once during this whole time?!
She didn’t readily believe me until I told her without any details that my brother passed away last July, and there were a number of people who saw me afterwards (when I went back to my old company to drop off my security card and laptop) and said that they “had wanted” to reach out, but they weren’t sure what to say, so they didn’t say anything. Yes, because inaction proves that you care – it actually says more about how you don’t care. Well, to be fair, I have some friends who are so emotionally fucked up that their own emotional blocks prevented them from reaching out to me, and they are still my friends today. Either way, my point was that when your life really sucks – when someone significant in your life dies, you lose your job, your house burns down – those are the most revealing moments in your life when it comes to determining who really cares and who doesn’t. And when you’ve come to that realization, you become aware that the people who don’t care aren’t worth any of your time.
After that story, she believed me and said she wouldn’t reach out to those people.
After dinner ended and I took the train home, I got out at my subway stop and checked my phone. I received a text from my newly employed friend that said, “July is not far away. Can we do something on the anniversary, for your brother?” I could feel my eyes well up with tears when I read this. I realize that I haven’t actively thought about the “anniversary” much, except when during my last meeting with my therapist, she told me to be aware that I might get moody as the day approached, and I may not be conscious of it at all. She told me that I should think about what I might want to do, if anything, to remember him on that day.
I’m not sure what I want to do honestly. But I get a warm, hopeful feeling knowing that there are people who want to help me remember Ed.