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My worst enemy died


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I've known the person in question for almost ten years now. We met in high school when a mutual friend introduced us, and he irritated me instantly, so I told him so. From then on he set out to ruin my life. Like he was trying to prove how irritating he really could be. I always kind of hoped something awful would happen to him, just so I'd have some peace, but something always brought him back to me like a curse, whether it be his doing or just coincidence. Two months ago, I got a call at five in the morning from our previously mentioned mutual friend, who asked me to come to the hospital and he'd explain when I got there. So I went, and was brought to a private hospital room. He even smiled when he saw me, and that's all I've been able to think about recently. Our friend studied to be a doctor before he dropped out of university, so he explained to me what happened. It was apparently an intracerebral hemmorhage, and the chances of him living weren't very high, even with whatever prevention methods they had. For two weeks, I went to see him in the hospital after I finished work, and I still don't completely understand why. I didn't pity him, but I felt like this was bigger than what my opinions were of him. Five nights before he died, we had a marathon of a conversation, which I wouldn't like to be too detailed about, because it's something I consider a secret. I'm still not sure why he told me what he did, and I'll probay never figure it out for as long as I live. In a few hours, I learnt more about him than any other person I've ever known. His life story, his fears, everything pointless and important. Once I saw him more clearly, I felt guilty for being so quick to declare my dislike for him. Maybe in another life, we might have been friends. I realised belatedly that we'd been holding hands for quite a while. All the times I'd hoped for something like this suddenly made me feel like this was all my fault, and a part of me said that was true, even if my logic knew that was impossible. The day it happened, I had a feeling it would before our friend even called me. I took the day off work, and spent the whole day at the hospital. His younger twin sisters were there, as well as our friend, and I was sure they glared at me when I entered, which wasn't that surprising. They probably thought I was there against my will, but didn't ask me. They talked quietly for a while, and everyone was crying, myself included. When he fell asleep, everyone sat and waited to see of he would wake up. I've never felt more anxious in my life. He did wake up, but only for a few minutes, and he just lay there, staring at the ceiling for a while before his eyes closed again. I called the doctor. His sisters cried. Our friend stood quietly against the wall and stared at nothing in particular. I've never dealt with loss before, so I didn't know what to do, let alone how to feel. Ten years of hate don't just disappear, but I definitely didn't feel like I expected to. What am K meant to feel? Death should never really be celebrated, but that's how I thought I would feel, and I don't. I feel like I don't deserve to be upset, like my grief is selfish and fake, and I'm sure that's what his family that knew of our enemy status thought too. I've realised that knowing something is going to happen is not the same as being prepared for it. I don't think I could have ever prepared for this. If you read all of this, thank you. This is essentially an attempt at getting things off my chest, without having to talk to anyone face to face, because the only people I'm close with knew him too, and I'm sure they don't want to listen to my problems when they most likely have their own.

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I don't recall ever actually hating someone, although I've had those that behaved like enemies, so I'll relate from that.  Relationships can be complicated because PEOPLE are complicated.  We can have conflicting emotions at the same time, both of them valid.  Feelings shouldn't have to be apologized for or even necessarily fully understood, but just lived through.  You aren't guilty of anything.  We can't "wish" anyone dead or "wish" misfortune on them, life just happens as it will and we have very little control over how long we live or how the end goes.  But we have more options and power over our own mortality than anyone else's, as we make decisions about what to expose ourselves to, what to eat, how much to exercise, whether we make effort to destress, etc.  I hope you realize this isn't your doing.   If you continue feeling plagued by feelings of guilt, I hope you'll see a counselor.

To be shared with on the level you were is a special gift, even if given at the end of a life.  Perhaps he felt conflicted about how things had gone between the two of you as well, and wanted you to understand him in a better way.

I hope you don't concern yourself unduly with what his family thinks of you, what matters is that the two of you communicated effectively, finally.  I'd send them a condolence note but nothing more is required.

I don't think anything can really prepare us for a death, it is so final, there's no way we can anticipate fully how it will hit us.  You have a safe place here to come to, we are here to listen should you need it.  

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