There are many things that the pandemic opened our eyes to such as:
- Who has empathy and who doesn’t
- Who is willing to sacrifice to protect their kids from the virus and who isn’t
- How much we care about the people who are immunocompromised
- How much we care about ourselves and are willing to protect ourselves from the pandemic
- How fast we can learn lessons about life, loss, selfishness and genuine care for others and science
- Who the people around us really are
- And the list could go on and on and on
Buuuuut there is ONE thing that (other than the loss of life of our loved ones from this pandemic) hurts THE MOST and that is realizing how insignificant we are to people who we thought for months, years and decades that were our friends.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a couple of people who communicated with me in 2019 but haven’t written or called me in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
And having talked to other people who also experienced this phenomenon, I know I’m not the only one. And chances are high that you’ve experienced this, too.
So today I want to share with you 3 ways to grieve a wonderful friendship that was and no longer is and reduce the hurt you feel every time you think about those ex-friends who don’t remember that you even exist anymore.
I know what you’re thinking “I could have died during the pandemic and they wouldn’t know.”
That’s my point!
That’s something I’ve also thought and it hurts like hell.
And I know how ironic it is that some of those people would be people whom we have wished were at our funeral when we die (before any of us ever experienced a global pandemic).
And the fact that they are so uninterested in whether you’re even alive or not is a little bit humorous but painful.
Way To Grieve #1: Listen to the experts…. but also open your eyes to what’s really going on.
You want answers. I’ve wanted answers.
We watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, read books, watch TikTok lives hoping that someone out there, somehow knows, tells us, explains, even justifies, why our friends out there have been so uninterested to know what’s going on in here, in our heart and mind.
And perhaps they won’t tell you answers about your particular case, but they’ll lead you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Brené Brown says that the same part of the brain that lights up when you burn yourself lights up when you have emotional pain. When I heard this, I was like WOW! No wonder it hurts so much! This pain isn’t imaginary, it’s real.
Brené Brown also said that language is connection. So to that, I would add that where no phone call language is present and no text message language is present guess what? There is no connection. People can get busy of course, stop talking for a week, a month, a year (and that’s stretching it) but for a WHOLE ENTIRE PANDEMIC? COME ON!!! That’s insane!
Speaking of connection, or lack thereof, Carolyn Myss, Hay House author and mystic, and lover of history, said in one of her videos during that pandemic that she is not surprised that we went through a pandemic given that many of us don’t fully embrace the feeling of oneness. Apparently that’s the case, right?
The BEST thing I’ve heard during this pandemic is by Dr. Shefali. When I heard it, I sent it to some of my family members because it is SOOO SOOOOO SOOOO good.
You’ll want to hear it more than once when you can focus on this and absorb this. It’s not for the faint of heart or for people who just want to brush off the significance of the pandemic or are “tired” of hearing about the pandemic.
One of the most famous things Maya Angelou said was that when someone tells you who they are that you should believe them. She’s right, BUT don’t forget that actions can sometimes be (and often are) louder than words so when someone SHOWS you through their actions or INACTIONS who they are, you should believe it too.
All of these little bits of wisdom reveal a definition.
The world: the place where there is SO much wisdom yet SO much ignorance.
SO much love but SO much loneliness.
SO many blessings but SO little appreciation (especially for one another).
And in our search for processing this loss, this confusion, this injustice, this emptiness, this worry, this thing that we take with us through our daily life and in our dreams… we have to dig deeper.
You know what they did to you so honor it.
You’re the expert of this relationship. You are one of the two people that was supposed to show up. You did. They didn’t.
People who stop writing, stop talking, never say goodbye or ghosted you think that just because they “forgot” that you exist means that we, as the forgotten, don’t realize that they pushed us completely out of their lives. Like we lost our ability to see, hear the silence and notice that they kicked us out of their lives.
If they forgot your value don’t forget it yourself.
If they forgot your worth don’t devalue yourself.
If they forgot your existence, keep living yourself with people who truly do value you.
Some people are not equipped to be on the pedestal we put them in.
So own your mistake in thinking they were equipped to hold such a valuable and cherished piece of real estate in your life and then forgive yourself for having such low standards.
Way To Grieve #2: STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THEM
Getting over any relationship was hard pre-pandemic but getting over a relationship during the pandemic when you’ve been ignored throughout the ENTIRE duration of the pandemic so far is harder.
- The pandemic was SUPPOSED to slow us down.
- The pandemic was SUPPOSED to give us more time (unless you’re a mother, especially if you also happen to be distance learning since day 1).
- The pandemic was SUPPOSED to show you what’s important.
- Weren’t we SUPPOSED to check in on our loved ones? Take care of them? FaceTime them?
Let’s rip the bandaid off.
People CAN call you, text you, write an old-fashioned letter to you (let’s dream), send a direct message on Instagram or on other social media, send you a package through Uber, send you roses from a local flower shop AND they can even video conference you or message you for FREEEEEE on apps like WhatsApp or Signal (my preferred choice since it’s safer than WhatsApp) and they STILL choose NOT to contact you even though it costs them NOTHING but a bit of love and care for you. In other words, they can contact you for absolutely free on an average of at least half a dozen platforms that they personally have accounts on but, NO, you’re not that important to them. Life has put them in this technological era and has gifted them with the ability to contact you for FREE but they are not interested in the offer. Enough said right? Well, actually not said…. since they say nothing.
They’ve CHOSEN TO BE SILENT during your birthday, the holiday you spent together, Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day but nah. Nothing inspires them to reach out.
So what’s the big deal you may ask if a friend doesn’t contact you?
Although nobody is OBLIGED to call you, it would have been NICE if in the middle of a pandemic,
Civil rights upheaval,
An affront on a main a Washington institution,
And a start of a new era
That friend, somewhere out there, would think
“Hmmm I wonder how ___________(enter your name here) is doing.” And would actually reach out.
But, if your “friend” didn’t reach out in spite of all this “extra time” that the majority of people got and all the hard situations that the world has faced up to now, well, you know where you are on their list of priorities. Waaaaaaayyyy down there. So low they haven’t and won’t get around to you.
So as much as it hurts, you’ve GOT TO learn how to live with that reality.
Breathe more deeply.
Pitiful that this all is…. breathe.
Close your eyes and breathe.
Cry if you want to.
Yell if you want to.
Curse the universe if you want to.
Bawl your eyes out.
Be numb— for yet even longer— if you want to.
This relationship hit rock bottom. And even though you’re way down there in a pit alone… other people like me understand the loss you’re going through. We suffer because we had expectations and we grew accustomed to expecting greatness out of this individual until they knocked their own selves down from the pedestal where we put them.
- Don’t use the excuse “They might be going through their own things.”
Yeah. But so have you.
People who say not to take it personally… like Don Miguel Ruiz in his Four Agreements must be saints. But I’m not one of them. And for me, it’s REALLY hard (impossible, really) to not take things personally.
I’m assuming it’s hard for you too.
So give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they experienced a loss or something or they are going through something psychological or emotional …. But don’t forget.
Don’t kid yourself.
Don’t continue to make more excuses for them. You’ve been doing that for wayyyyy too long.
While you stop resisting being in this pit, ask yourself this question:
If they texted right now.
If they called right now.
If they showed up at your doorstep right now.
If they sent you an Amazon gift.
If they wrote you a letter.
Would it all be okay?
I’m not one who is encouraging holding grudges, but unless the pain during this pandemic where you’ve been so blatantly ignored has been something light for you, then, everything would not be okay would it?
They hurt us deeply.
Most people on social media think that the person whom we should most avoid is the narcissist. I disagree. It’s not the person who thinks too much of themselves that we should avoid, it’s the person who doesn’t think enough of us.
If the first couple of years into this pandemic gave them enough time to forget you, it’s given you plenty of time to get over them.
When one door closes it leaves a gift behind. It’s dignity.
So you know what that means, right?
YOU, MY FRIEND, have only ONE way to go and that’s UP.
Out of that hole.
I wish I could stretch out my arm and hold your hand so that I could help pull you out of that dark pit, but since I literally and physically can’t be with you right now, I’m going to share with you music. Because music will surround you in the room you’re in right now.
THANK HEAVEN FOR MUSIC! LOVE-FILLED AND LIFE-SAVING MUSIC.
Way To Grieve #2: USE MUSIC AS YOUR SAVING GRACE
As I said earlier, I used to worry that some of my friends (especially those who live very far away) wouldn’t come to my funeral if I passed away. I worried if anybody in my family would know to call them. And if those friends would come. The pandemic has taught me that some of these friends won’t come and I’m okay with that for the first time ever. This past weekend I told my mom that if I pass the only thing I want is music. I don’t want anybody to worry about anything. I don’t like to inconvenience people in real life and I certainly don’t want to do it after I’m not even around to appreciate their efforts (or feel bad I’m inconveniencing them). Instead, anybody can put whatever song they like. They can do it from their phone or wherever they want. I have no requests.
And I know I’m sounding super gloomy but hear me out. Because last week I learned from a spiritual teacher that music is other-worldly and that it has the power to heal our soul’s wounds. These words resonated so deeply with me because just like books have been my friends all my life, so has music. Music can work wonders on me.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that songs are something that I’ve talked with my friends about. And some friends, the really special ones, have been lucky to receive songs from me.
And because I care about you and want you to heal, there’s a song that I want to share with you regarding those people in your life who haven’t called YOU during the pandemic.
It’s a song called Why Haven’t I Heard From You? by Reba McEntire.
You can find this song on Spotify, Pandora or YouTube.
If you want to sing these songs as you listen to them, just click on the little microphone so that the lyrics populate karaoke-style.
And because I know not all of you will remember to listen to the song let me tell you it basically says and that is that nobody has any excuse to not have called you by now. Unless of course, they’re in the other realm and you just don’t know it. That would be ironic, now, wouldn’t it?
So after you’ve heard that song, danced to it, and maybe even sing it with all your might you might STILL be wondering why you haven’t heard from them…
And the most likely answer, despite how hard it is to admit it is that…
If people have experienced this much loss and isolation and still have chosen not to reach out to you (even when they KNOW they could have “lost” you), it’s because they don’t care about losing you and they certainly don’t miss you.
It’s a hard truth to swallow but swallow this truth as a way to try to unchain from the expectations you had from that friendship.
Promise Me Something
As painful as I know it is for someone like you.
Someone who is a loyal friend.
Who DID call on birthdays. Who did say Merry Christmas. Who called just to say hi more times than what is fair. Who listened. Who gave gifts. Who gave surprises. Who was interesting and engaging. Who gave WAY more than their 50% in this relationship.
Who never truly felt capable of ending this friendship.
Who gives WAY more than they take in friendships.
Do not call.
Do not write.
Do not reminisce too much about the past.
Do not consider yourself unworthy.
It’s NOT your fault that they are now seeking another type of value in their life.
AND FOR ALL THINGS HOLY come to the realization that your story with them is finished. That they chose to end it. That one, two years or three years is WAY too long to be waiting for them to think of you and reach out.
They will not call.
They will not write.
They will not start valuing you all of a sudden when ignoring you has been their favorite hobby they do on auto-pilot.
Did You Learn Your Lesson?
Sometimes, it seems that the lesson that life is teaching us is cut short.
For example, did you learn the lesson that this broken relationship or broken friendship left you?
Why do you think it took you THIS long to get it/
Why do you think it took being ignored during the ENTIRE pandemic (so far) for you to realize that that person doesn’t give a crap about you?
What wounds do you have to heal within you so that you are MUCH more capable of releasing a friendship, a relationship, a work relationship or an acquaintance that doesn’t add much (if anything) to your life?
What emptiness are you looking to fill with the tiny crumb someone else has to offer?
Yeah, the person who ignored you has a lot of fault for ignoring you so much for so long.
However, is it possible that YOU have been ignoring yourself for too long, too?
It may or may not be your case but it’s possible.
Regardless of how in-tune you’ve been with yourself during the past few years, please promise yourself that you are never going to be the one who feels empty after giving so much.
Yes, love is infinite. Love is abundant.
But when it falls on deaf ears. On lips that cannot say thank you. On lips that cannot say hi. On feet who make no effort to see you. On arms that have no desire to hug you. On someone’s calendar who you play no role in…, it is painful to love.
And love shouldn’t hurt this much. Or make you suffer this much. Or have you wondering and swirling the question over and over again why that person couldn’t love you and show you that they love you.
Often, no answer is the answer.
And I know that holding love back when you have so much love to give is almost asking you for the impossible.
However, I’ll leave you with a lesson I learned from a TikToker I wish I remembered their name to give them credit. But this gentleman said, that from now on, pretend that every person you meet has a hairdresser (like a hairband) that the native Americans use. And that their band is empty. But every time they remember your birthday and call, you can place a feather on their hairband. When they check to see if you made it from a trip safely, you give them a feather, if they call to check in on you during the pandemic, you give them a feather, when they ask you how you’re feeling after you’ve told them you have a health issue or illness, you give them a feather, when they say thank you with no prompting for a gift you gave them, you give them a feather, when they gift you something just because you give them a feather. Don’t give your soft, luscious, precious feathers away just because. Make them prove to you the kind of person they are before they’re chief in your life.
It’s SUCH a simple concept, right?
But some of us are standing with a bag of feathers and some glue way too early.
I love how giving you are. I truly do. And I wish that from now on you are blessed to have people that make you feel like the effort, time, care and love you use in giving is TRULY worth it.
So ladies, and gents, now that we know how to be better at identifying people in our life who truly are glad that we’re alive (that’s the least they can do ), let’s focus our attention on ourselves and MUSIC.
I HIGHLY recommend you create a playlist somewhere where you place the songs that uplift you and make you dance. And use it to shake off the sadness that may creep up on you.
But do you want to do something fun with me? I want to build an empowering playlist with your help.
I’ve added a couple of other songs aside from the song “Why Haven’t I Heard From You?” into a playlist.
I won’t tell you more about the songs that I’ve added because I want you to go and check it out and so that the songs meet and uplift you just when the moment is right. Here you go…
Go check it out and sing at the top of your lungs and move those hips that Heaven gave you! =) Shake what you’ve go! 😊 And if there’s a song is sexy it’s because YOU are sexy. Period.
Most importantly, tell me, what songs should we add? Leave me the name of the song and artist below.
You got this. Now go out and LIVE. 💫