Starts With Goodbye by Carrie Underwood
When I spoke to my mother a few weeks ago about Josh’s impending move to Canada, the first thing she said was “You’re going to feel like you’ve gone through a divorce.” I laughed it off because while it was a funny, Josh and I weren’t married; we weren’t even romantically involved. Josh was my roommate and best friend, not some part of a couple.
Then I found myself awake the night before his mother was set to come down and move all of his things out of the apartment. Suddenly, it was too real. Suddenly I was finally facing the realization that my best friend was leaving. Not just “someday” or “months down the road”, but now. He was moving out of the apartment we’d shared for five years, and then out of the country entirely. This was when it hit me-I didn’t know what I was going to do without him.
I was at this point overcome with fear and the realization that the strongest point in my support system and the biggest part of my social life was going to be gone almost completely over the course of a weekend. Sure, he would be only a Skype call away if I need his advice or to hear his voice, but he wouldn’t be there on the day to day basis that I was used to. I honestly found myself questioning what my emotional survival odds would be, and at that moment they weren’t looking great.
I realized how pathetic this sounded. Here I was a 28 year old single female who prides herself on her independence, and I wasn’t sure I could make it without him around. Logically, deep down I knew I could, but with the grief building over what would be a sort-of loss, this was a hard fact to recognize. I was losing my best friend. The closest member of my family. someone with whom I’d spend the majority of the last 6 years of my life with. This was going to hurt.
When I hugged him goodbye for the last time at his mother’s house Monday morning and headed back to my new life, I teared up-but otherwise I did okay. I went home and picked up a little, then went to work and made it through the entire day with a good attitude. Then on the drive home in my new car (which was his-I bought it from him) this song came up on my shuffle. As I sang along with the first chorus I lost it… I cried the rest of the way home and then periodically through the rest of the evening. It was an emotional battle most of the rest of the week… I tried to drown my sorrows a little bit-but that never really helps. It’s just something that has to be worked out.
There have been great improvements. Wednesday night I went out with Shawn to see Eric play at Gracies, and then stopped off at Piper Down for the last two rounds of Geeks Who Drink. My spirits were incredibly lifted. This weekend I spent some good times with friends and finally managed to do a little work around the house that I’d been avoiding. I’ve had a hard time bringing myself to make any changes, even small ones like cleaning the kitchen or grocery shopping-but finally got a few things taken care of and that was a mood lifter.
However despite the adjusting I am doing, there are still moments when I feel the loss of my best friend profoundly. When there’s something fun I want to do I still first think “I wonder if Josh will go see it with me?” and then I remember that he can’t. He’s thousands of miles away now. Sometimes this house still feels so incredibly empty that I’m not sure how I’m ever going to have it feel like home again.
But I know, deep down, that someday it will. Eventually the aching will stop and though I’ll never stop missing having Josh around, I’ll be okay. It’s a new direction I’m headed in, and I wouldn’t be able to find out what’s down this path if I hadn’t have had to say goodbye to my best friend for a while. We had our own lives to live and our own roads to take and I can appreciate that-even if it’s going to be a while before it feels like the right path.
Everything is going to be okay-sometimes you just have to say goodbye and hope that you’re headed in the correct direction. Then… Just keep swimming.