Today I found out a friend passed away. She was 48. A year older than I am. A few years ago she found out that her husband was having an affair. She had called me about it. Even though I was in the midst of the same thing, I said nothing. Although I consoled her and talked with her, and gave her the best advice that I could, I did not tell her I was going through the exact same thing. We live in a small town and kids are involved and I didn’t want to cause them any embarrassment. I thought the less people who knew the better. I mean, I didn’t even tell my sister for the longest time. My friend had been going through a rough time. She never quite got over the affair. Her husband and her split up at some point after she caught him talking to the woman he was having an affair with while they were on vacation. She was devastated. I knew how she felt. Yet, I said nothing. She continued to suffer through the last few years. Her Facebook posts told the story of a woman who had lost the love of her life, and was spiraling downward daily. Her family and friends did not know what to say or do for her. She started losing a lot of weight. She started searching for love anywhere and everywhere. She became desperate to find a love like she had before. But, it never worked out for her. And while we don’t know if it was suicide or the result of an eating disorder, she was found dead today……at 48 years old. She left two children.
Her and her husband seemed like me and my husband. She was also floored to find out that her husband had cheated. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened to me if he had left for her. I have no doubt that I would not have gotten over it. The truth is, I don’t know what would have happened to me. There are moments that I have felt strong and lots of moments that I felt weak. I still have those moments today. I go through successes and failures, weakness and strength. I know how my friend felt. I understand being so devastated that you don’t want to eat or you want to eat too much. I understand thinking that you have to keep yourself going for your children. I understand the feeling of total chaos inside your head. I understand going from completely secure about everything to feeling insecure about everything. And I never said anything to her.
Maybe my words could have consoled. Maybe another person with a seemingly air-tight marriage going through the same thing could have helped? Maybe just being there to listen and her knowing that I truly did know exactly what she was talking about would have been enough to save her. I had all of these experiences and emotions that I could have shared with her. But, I didn’t.
And I regret saying nothing. I wish I had stepped up to the plate and shared my story with her. I wish I could have given her a piece of my heart to help heal hers. I had considered ending this blog. After all, the climax happened a year ago. But, now I know I must keep writing so I can help someone else, to let others know they are not alone.
I never want to regret saying nothing again.