A poem: New Best Friend

I met my new best friend unexpectedly and quite abruptly on June 26th, 2016.
I remember it vividly, because it was like nothing I ever felt.
I remember what I was wearing. Where I was sitting.
We crashed into each other–me into him, because it seemed he was all I had to hold onto at the time, and him into me, because that’s just the nature of his being.
I had been in contact with his type before–but this. This was different.

This was personal–deeply personal in a way I didn’t realize was possible.
It’s been months since that first meeting. And we’ve been inseparable ever since.
Wherever I go, he goes. Sometimes he sits right beside me.
Other times he hangs back in the shadows, burning a hole through my back like that feeling you get when you know someone is staring at you.
Sometimes, it’s almost like he isn’t even there. He gets so quiet. Those are the best days.
Then there are times. Times when it’s like he wants to get me back for those best days when he took a back seat. Times when he reminds me of the day we first met.

My new best friend has this terrible way of making great moments less great.
He has a way of distracting me from my joy–even when my joy is looking me right in my face. Demanding, tiring, and overwhelming. That’s what he is.
But the thing is, even with all his faults, he knows me better than anyone else right now.
While everyone is busy with their own lives, he’s here. Quite possibly the most consistent thing in my life. And I don’t ever have to fear that I’m bothering or worrying him. Don’t have to hope he’ll ask me how I am so I can cry on his shoulder. Don’t have to hope he comes around. Because he knows, and he’s here. Every day.

And yet, while I know we’re forever linked, me and my new best friend,
Though I know he’ll always be in my life-some days a stronger presence than others,
I realize that we can’t be absorbed in each other anymore. Can’t live and breathe each other anymore.
I need to be able to go places by myself. I can’t be distracted from my joy.
Though persistent he might be, I have to tell my new best friend that we need space.
I have to refuse his company and focus on my joy.
I have to learn to live without him.

This year was looking up to be one of the best in my life until I lost my father in June. Since then, I’ve been overwhelmed by his absence, unable to truly and fully appreciate the good things happening in my life, some of which he worked so hard to make happen for me. Grief, the friend that I reference above, can be debilitating. It can make not-so-bad things terrible things. It shows up and rains on your parade quite regularly. But with prayer, a mind-over-matter attitude, and true desire and effort to move forward, you can take your life back from Grief. People do it every day.

So this is for everyone who just can’t seem to shake your Grief. It won’t be easy. It won’t happen overnight. And maybe you won’t ever completely be free of it. But you can keep living and enjoying your life and your joy, and so can I.

Wishing you peace, love and joy,
Archele

Image of author and her dad.

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Southern girl with a soft spot for Harlem. Biggie enthusiast with kindred spirit ties to Beyonce. Martin's Gina. Jerry's Elaine. Communicator. MBA-haver. Too complex for anybody's box.