Dear Karen –

I started drafting this letter in my head last week when I learned of the tragic news, but tonight I realized that I’ve been drafting it for the past nine years.  I have few regrets in my life – true regrets.  But I have a few that involve you. And now I’m too late to make it right. My opportunity is gone, because you are gone.

Karen, I am so sorry that I wasn’t more upfront with you and I’m sorry that you had to find out from someone else. I should have told you myself. I knew that you would be heartbroken that we were dating, and I wasn’t even sure if it was going anywhere. Why upset you if it turned out to be nothing? I realize now how selfish that was.  I tried to apologize at the time, but I’m not sure you really heard me.

More than that though, I will never forgive myself for not fighting harder for our friendship. I let you just slip out of my life. Friends have fights and hurt each other all the time; it happens. We had fought before and recovered. Maybe it was because I was in San Diego, and you were in Bellingham. Maybe it was because you weren’t over him. Maybe it was because we were both too stubborn. Whatever it was, it happened – our friendship dissolved. And I didn’t fight for us. And for that, I’m truly sorry.

I think about how things should have been different for you. I’m not narcissistic enough to think that this event somehow changed your life or really impacted it very much at all. I know you were fighting bigger demons – but WHAT IF? What if we had stayed friends?  Would you still have lost your way? Could I have made a difference? Or helped you to love yourself more? I’ll never know.

I don’t have a high school memory that doesn’t include you. So many memories – so many laughs. We sure had fun. We were so young, but thought we were so old. I’m a better person for having known you. I hope your son will remember how passionate, vibrant and beautiful you were.

We were going to see the pyramids together. Someday I’ll make it there for you. I hope you have found peace.


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