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My estranged friend and unrequited love died 2 years ago


WhiteCrane36

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Sorry if this is long, I started typing and kept going too long.

I Googled an estranged friend/unrequited love earlier this week. I had not seen him for over eleven years, or even spoken so much as a single word to him. Well, it's all moot now, because earlier this week, during that Google search I discovered he died in 2009, over two years ago. He was 60 years old. I know it might not seem so serious to grieve for someone you haven't seen in 11 years, but for me it was like having a scab ripped open.

I was 22 when we met. He was 49, too old for me, I know, but I fell in love with him. It wasn't his fault. It just happened. He was a swinging single kind of guy and had a string of part-time lovers, but he didn't want that from me, and it upset me, of course, but I was too inexperienced, too immature to know how to deal with a situation like that. I couldn't understand why he didn't love me the way I loved him. Foolishly, I remained in close contact with him, always hoping he might miraculously "notice" me, and of course he never did. He never once led me on, in hindsight I was creating a sort of fantasy in my head. I think I even knew it at the time. The situation became kind of "toxic" as my sadness turned to frustration and then to resentment, and after that we lost contact for those eleven years.

I always told myself I was doing the healthy thing, keeping the past where it belonged, and getting on with my life. I have been in a realtionship with a wonderful man for most of those eleven years. Still, I often thought of my unrequited love but always rejected the notion of re-establishing contact. I don't believe he would have welcomed it anyway, in fact it may well have been a relief to him to have the situation end as it did, and might not have wanted to dig it all up again.

At first I felt nothing but a kind of dull shock, but I sensed an immense darkness gathering at the edges of my mind, like a psychological storm waiting to roll in. Over the next few hours I went about my duties in a strange semi-lucid state. Every so often a fact or thought would materialise in my mind, based on what I'd read online. He's dead. He died alone in his home, some time between a Monday and a Friday. Does that mean he had no-one taking care of him at the time? 60 is not very old - I would have hoped for better for him. Was he suffering? Was it sudden? I hope it was sudden and he felt no pain. And so on. Over the last five days or so I've been swinging between sadness, guilt. Did I do the right thing not making contact in those eleven years? Was my desire to reconcile for my benefit, or his? I've been daydreaming about alternative scenarios where I remained in close contact with him. Maybe I knocked on his door that day he died, and was able to call an ambulance in time. Maybe I found the maturity to be a proper friend to him without letting my unrequited love for him taint it. Maybe I could have been there to help him through a low period...I wonder how his death can be having such a strong effect on me. I thought I'd laid our broken (non-) relationship to rest years ago. My grief for blood relatives who have died was not this strong. It's as if there has been a hidden, dark current flowing through my heart all this time, but now I know he's gone, the dam is finally breaking, and I'm finally facing up to some difficult truths.

To me, he was an unrequited love, but o him, I was a friend, and he had plenty of those. He had a rich, full life before he met me, and I'm sure that continued after I left. What can I say, I was in my early twenties at time time, and I barely knew how to handle myself in the adult world. It hurts to know he died alone at the age of 60. It hurts to know he's been dead for two years, and I didn't even know. I miss him, and I don't think I have any right to miss him - there were those eleven years when I could have reached out to him, and I didn't.

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Sorry if this is long, I started typing and kept going too long.

I Googled an estranged friend/unrequited love earlier this week. I had not seen him for over eleven years, or even spoken so much as a single word to him. Well, it's all moot now, because earlier this week, during that Google search I discovered he died in 2009, over two years ago. He was 60 years old. I know it might not seem so serious to grieve for someone you haven't seen in 11 years, but for me it was like having a scab ripped open.

I was 22 when we met. He was 49, too old for me, I know, but I fell in love with him. It wasn't his fault. It just happened. He was a swinging single kind of guy and had a string of part-time lovers, but he didn't want that from me, and it upset me, of course, but I was too inexperienced, too immature to know how to deal with a situation like that. I couldn't understand why he didn't love me the way I loved him. Foolishly, I remained in close contact with him, always hoping he might miraculously "notice" me, and of course he never did. He never once led me on, in hindsight I was creating a sort of fantasy in my head. I think I even knew it at the time. The situation became kind of "toxic" as my sadness turned to frustration and then to resentment, and after that we lost contact for those eleven years.

I always told myself I was doing the healthy thing, keeping the past where it belonged, and getting on with my life. I have been in a realtionship with a wonderful man for most of those eleven years. Still, I often thought of my unrequited love but always rejected the notion of re-establishing contact. I don't believe he would have welcomed it anyway, in fact it may well have been a relief to him to have the situation end as it did, and might not have wanted to dig it all up again.

At first I felt nothing but a kind of dull shock, but I sensed an immense darkness gathering at the edges of my mind, like a psychological storm waiting to roll in. Over the next few hours I went about my duties in a strange semi-lucid state. Every so often a fact or thought would materialise in my mind, based on what I'd read online. He's dead. He died alone in his home, some time between a Monday and a Friday. Does that mean he had no-one taking care of him at the time? 60 is not very old - I would have hoped for better for him. Was he suffering? Was it sudden? I hope it was sudden and he felt no pain. And so on. Over the last five days or so I've been swinging between sadness, guilt. Did I do the right thing not making contact in those eleven years? Was my desire to reconcile for my benefit, or his? I've been daydreaming about alternative scenarios where I remained in close contact with him. Maybe I knocked on his door that day he died, and was able to call an ambulance in time. Maybe I found the maturity to be a proper friend to him without letting my unrequited love for him taint it. Maybe I could have been there to help him through a low period...I wonder how his death can be having such a strong effect on me. I thought I'd laid our broken (non-) relationship to rest years ago. My grief for blood relatives who have died was not this strong. It's as if there has been a hidden, dark current flowing through my heart all this time, but now I know he's gone, the dam is finally breaking, and I'm finally facing up to some difficult truths.

To me, he was an unrequited love, but o him, I was a friend, and he had plenty of those. He had a rich, full life before he met me, and I'm sure that continued after I left. What can I say, I was in my early twenties at time time, and I barely knew how to handle myself in the adult world. It hurts to know he died alone at the age of 60. It hurts to know he's been dead for two years, and I didn't even know. I miss him, and I don't think I have any right to miss him - there were those eleven years when I could have reached out to him, and I didn't.

Hi WhiteCrane,

I am sorry about your loss. Oftentimes during grieving, we go through a period of "what ifs" and we constantly second guess, try to "re-work" the past and make up for what we think may have been missed opportunities or unfulfilled dreams. It's normal and okay to be in such shock and grief. He was your dream for so long. It will be tough for you to let that dream go and move forward, but you will be able to eventually. For now, just grieve his passing. Would it help to write him a letter and tell him what you always wanted to say?

ModKonnie

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