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An Apology to a Friend

a blog by Shana Kurz, June 19, 2012

Dear Friend,

There was a time in my life when I hadn’t experienced any failure. My heart didn’t know sorrow or shame. My ego was in control and my life was easy. So easy in fact, I was fearful of what awful experience I was going to have, it was bound to happen, where was it hiding? Was I going to be in a car accident, was I going to be raped at a house party, was my apartment going to be burglarized? I watched others go through tough times and had no way of reaching out to help them. I felt useless and scared when faced with others' misfortunes. What could I say to someone who experienced something tragic or sad? Nothing that would ever seem genuine and surely they could see through me; they would know I wasn’t sincere, that I didn’t have any idea what I was talking about.

And then your father got sick and quickly passed away. Your father who was so similar to my father. Your experience so easily could have been my experience. I felt consumed by what happened, but, at the same time, had no idea how you could have been feeling. I was one of your closest friends but had no way of supporting you. And I was a coward. Rather then dealing with my own emotions and being honest with you, I didn’t do anything. And it’s been hanging over my head for years.

A few years later, my easy life caught up to me and I endured two years of miscarriages, surgeries and medical intervention. Infertility became the awful experience I was waiting for. I cried at inappropriate times, hated others for their bundles of joy and felt that nobody understood what I was going through. But I also realized I wanted support from others. I could feel people pull away, that they didn’t know what to say, and, therefore, they didn’t say anything. I craved for someone to just honestly tell me what they thought of my experience and for them to give me space to open up and talk. I needed a friend who called to see how I was doing and just let me cry.

I now understand how I could have been a good friend to you. How I could’ve stopped by with two beers and a hug. How I should’ve pushed myself into your sad world and insisted on staying awhile. How I should have trusted you would eventually feel better.

I’m sorry I wasn’t able to support you during your toughest time. I promise to be there for you as we continue through our lives, which include all that is good and bad. I have context now, and I’m not scared. And I’m humbled that we are still friends.


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