I’m losing yet another friend from the ship this week. It’s not an uncommon experience, but the truly good ones only go every once in a while. And it sucks, regardless of the circumstances.
But the emotions and experience surrounding friends leaving the ship are very similar to those surrounding a death. The gravity isn’t entirely the same, but there’s always a feeling, if not only a fear, that you’ll never be reconnected. Especially when a friend has to leave suddenly.
I went through a bit of a whirlwind of emotion today following the news that one of my best friends here is leaving within days. I started out pretty solid, much the way that I did when I found out my grandfather was dying a year ago. I didn’t really feel much beyond the certainty that this was right in the natural order of things. But given the chance to dwell on it, and the following implications, my emotions moved in pretty quickly.
I won’t go on and on about it. It’s still very surreal and I don’t think I need to/can truly put everything into writing. But friends are important, and the ones you really click with can be so rare. This changes the next six months of my life pretty significantly, and it blows. I think it will be best for them in the end, but selfishly I’m not as satisfied with that response as I was when the news first broke.
Like a death this is going to take time to mourn. Like a wake, we sat around tonight reminiscing and laughing to break the sadness. But unlike any funeral, thankfully, this won’t be goodbye. And hopefully, just hopefully, there will be a “Hey friend!” over some fantastic Mexican food in the not-too-distant future.
I’m gonna miss you Friend. Thanks for making Sierra Leone so much better than it could have otherwise been.