On July 21st, 2009, my best friend drowned in a river in Oregon.
He was 10 days away from turning 21, and I was 19.
We had been friends for 16 years.

Today I went through EP and read a bunch of things I wrote in the time after he died. I haven't been on this site in about a year which I think speaks volumes to my level of healing.

When Brian died, I was an absolute wreck. I couldn't cope, I didn't care about anything in my life, I was in such a state of depression. I didn't want to be happy because I thought that if I was happy someone might be taken from me again. Right before Brian died, I was the happiest I'd ever been in my life, I felt for a long time I was being punished for being too happy. So in the wake of his death, I denied myself happiness. I didn't want to get out of bed a lot of times, but things got better.

I started going to counseling and really talking about how much his death affected me. I can't tell you how or when it happened, but I began to heal. Even this time last year I was still having a really hard time accepting it. I think I was in a state of denial for over a year and then stubbornly didn't want to move on for a year after that.

Now I feel better. I still miss him, but I can think of him and smile now. I can laugh at something that happened, I can talk about his faults or listen to others talk about his faults. Before I went into an absolute state of fury and defense if anybody spoke anything but praise about him. Now I can talk about him in a teasing way like I used to. I really honestly have healed.

Nothing changed in my life to bring this about, I didn't actively try to heal myself, I just took each day as it came, I cried when I had to, I looked at his pictures when I wanted to, and eventually it was just all easier to deal with. Sometimes I think maybe it's just a state of numbness, where if I don't think about it, it doesn't hurt me. Maybe that's what healing is though, is getting past thinking about it everyday. Healing isn't so much about getting better, it's about getting past it.

When he was missing the diver there said to me "you don't ever get past the pain of losing somebody, you just learn each day how to live with the pain"

Well I guess that's what I've done. I went back to the river every year since he died, I cry while I am there, I cry while we put flower petals into the water, I cry while we send balloons filled with notes into the sky, I cry most of the time that I am there. Then I go home and I continue living my life. I don't let thoughts of Brian interrupt my life like they used to. I really am better.

I still miss him. I'll always miss him. I'll always wonder if he would have gotten married, I would always wonder what he would have named his babies, I'll always wonder how his life would have turned out. but I am better.

The only real reason I think that I have healed from this pain is the passing of time. Each day my life got a little further away from that tragic event and today it's so far away that I don't have to face it each day. It's something that happened a few years ago that I have learned to deal with in the time since.

So yes, I believe that time has healed my wounds.
mandi2590 mandi2590
22-25, F
Sep 22, 2012