Sometimes, when I look around at the people who are important to my life in this moment, I am saddened. There are faces missing that, in my naivete, I somehow envisioned would always be there.
These people haven't been taken from me by physical death, but by a self-imposed relationship-death. These are situations where one or the other of us have chosen to cease communication, thus killing the relationship as thoroughly as if one of us had actually died.
When is it okay to kill a relationship? When that person hurts you? When that person prevents you from being everything you can be? When your respective values are too disparate? When they steal your lunch money? Where do you draw the line?
Sometimes, I wonder if I will regret my decisions, when these people have physically died. I will almost certainly wonder if there was something more I could have done to create a healthy relationship, even in cases where it's painfully clear that the other person doesn't desire a healthy relationship.
It's even more difficult when your reasons for killing a relationship are somewhat selfish. The difference between self-preservation and egotism can sometimes seem so small that it's almost invisible.
I don't have the answer to any of this. I'm still struggling with these issues, but no one reaches the end of their life without regrets. I can only hope that when I reach the end of my life, I will be proud to be associated with each and every important person in my life.
For now, I think I'm well on my way.