I got an email the other night from an old classmate telling me that a good friend of mine had died. I had sadly not spoken to my old friend for some time. My friend had made me angry years ago and I'd stopped speaking to him. At first the problem was that he had slighted me and I felt I was being taken for granted. I decided that I'd stop calling him and would make him call ME for a change. He didn't call for a couple of years but by that time I'd written him off and it was easier not talk to him than return his call. As time went on he tried to contact me several times but by then I'd isolated myself so badly I barely spoke to anyone. And again it was just easier not to respond. That's still the case, I've so isolated myself I barely talk to anyone outside of what I need to at work. My first response to the email was gratitude in letting me know but I told them that I would not attend the service. My fear was that my neglect would be scorned by my friends family and would take away from the occasion. I received a call from my friends sister yesterday and she and my friend's wife want me to be at the service. I've made it intentionally hard to locate or call me so I know how much trouble they had to go to to find me. I am going to the service tomorrow to celebrate his life and perhaps give comfort where I can.
I am very unhappy with myself. Through convenience and cowardice I missed ever talking to my friend again. My isolation is something I've done to myself and it is so damaging yet so comforting it's hard to stop. I just find people too unpredictable and disagreeable. It just seems easier and safer to avoid their troubles and unpredictability whether good or bad. But if I died who would reach out to my friends? Easy answer – there would be nobody reaching out and there'd be no one to reach out to. I don't think a zero sum total life is how I want to be remembered. Or not remembered….