I am so sorry that Nora Ephron has died. She was so smart, so vibrant, so damn funny; such a neat woman with many gifts and a wonderful penchant for honest, unvarnished reflections on a multiplicity of topics. This is a lovely tribute to her. It is, perhaps, entirely natural that the passing of someone I admire or love or like or even just feel good about in the most general of ways makes me pensive. I've been stewing over a friendship in recent months, a friendship that for several years has meant the world to me but which has seemed to become frayed. One misunderstanding, one attempt to talk and understand, apologies, but then a gulf. A distance. A coolness. Slight trepidation where never before there was anything but enthusiasm. Brief and oddly perky chats where once there was the kind of closeness which you know is rare and for which you feel so grateful.
These sorts of sadnesses, confusions, disappointments seem like such a crappy aspect of living. No one makes it through the 20s and 30s -hell, middle school!- without new friends, best friends, ex-friends, old friends, but the older you get, the sadder the losses feel, the regrets more acute. I am sad. Baffled. I miss my friend. I feel that to try and revisit the initial misunderstanding, however, would just make things more awkward, sad as that sounds but true as that might be.
As is probably fairly clear, I'm rather an open book. Though I crave -no, NEED- a solid amount of alone time, I'm also a real extrovert. I love to know people, listen to and learn from them, help in any way that I can. Connection and community make me tick, and I value authenticity and honesty enormously. It drives me positively batty with both confusion and frustration when others are always "fine, great"- really? How is that possible? If it's true, hat's off; that is not my life experience. But I doubt that's the reality for most anyone.
In any case, friendships that wane in the absence of a clear cause make me question a lot of things but primarily myself. The times this has happened, admittedly and thankfully not many, I have assumed the fault to be mine: was I difficult to be friends with? were my expectations too high? did I misstep in a serious way unbeknownst to me? On the flip side, these relational shifts could have nothing to do with me.
I truly don't know, and that makes the getting-over-it process all the more difficult. Though less dramatic, it's somewhat like being broken up with out of the blue. Without a tidy summation, closure is tough. Sigh.