When we first moved to this city we met a family who has a little girl one year older than Rachael. Rachael was two at the time and this little girl was three and there was instant love between the two. Over the past four years that little girl has spent a lot of time in my home and they bonded in such a beautiful way. If you have raised a child you understand how almost unheard of it is for two children to spend hours... HOURS, day after day with one another and never fight. They could just look at each other and start laughing. They GOT one another and it was a privilege to witness.
This girl's mom and I were friends too, and now we're not. There are a lot of things I did wrong and can accept blame for but ending the friendship was not my decision and I hated how it went down. The conflict involved our spouses and Tom, though willing to forgive, did not want to continue the friendship with her husband. She demanded complete reconciliation as a condition of our friendship continuing and so it ended. And with it, she also ended the girls' friendship. And this broke my heart.
I didn't tell Rachael that she would never see her friend again and for the past two months I have heard Rachael talk almost daily about this little girl to me, to her brother, to her other friends, to her dolls. She brings home artwork from school with this little girl's picture on it and stories of her love for her. I have just tried to stall her and hope she'd forget but tonight on the way to ballet I was once again encouraging her to make new friends and she once again told me that she misses her friend and wants to see her and I decided it was time to start her down the painful path of letting go.
I was gentle and went slowly but essentially told her that she wasn't going to see her friend anymore. She just didn't understand. I tried several angles that I was hoping she would just accept, "She's really busy", "You are in different schools and churches now". But she just kept saying, "But why?" I reassured her that I know her friend loves her and misses her too but sometimes people have to move on. She said, "But we've been friends a REALLY long time." She kept coming back to why, why, why and none of my lame reasons were working so I finally told her the truth.
"Rachael, it's because her mommy doesn't want to be my friend anymore and so she says her daughter cannot be your friend anymore." Rachael took a moment to absorb that and the truth of the situation began to set in. You should have seen that child's face. It broke my heart more than anything we have gone through in the past 7 months - by a long shot. She said, "But that's not fair." I said, "No, it's not fair and I think it's really mean and I am so very sorry sweetheart." She didn't wail and carry on but the tears just silently started to fall down and the grieving process began.
She's only six but her heart... for the first time... has been shattered. And I don't know what to do.
Except cry with her.
2 days ago