As I’ve told you guys before, Aria nudges me around the weekend and gives me an idea of what to write about for the week. There was no question she wanted me to write about Friends. At first, my goal was to write about the TV show and how much it has helped me. But Aria also showed me glimpses this week of what some of her relationships with her friends actually looked like. Its given me a lot of perspective about Friends and the importance they hold in our lives.

When Buggy passed, I was numb. I would cry or I just couldn’t feel at all. I remember going home the night of February 6th and thought, What’s the point? Buggy’s not here, there’s no one to come home for anymore. I moved back to Linden Hills to be in the district so that she could go to high school with all the kids she grew up with. Days would go by and I’d sit on my couch starring at the wall, or the tv, or researching teen suicide. Depending on the day, I would leave her bedroom door open. Sometimes, I wanted to see her mess. Other days, it was too emotional to walk by and not see her, so I’d shut it. 4:30pm would come around and she wouldn’t come barging in the door

“Hi mom, what’s for dinner?”

Nothing…………. (I still wait for her to walk through the door)

I’d smile and laugh, when I thought of Buggy memories or if someone was telling a story about her. But, nothing else, I was numb.

About 3 or 4 weeks after Buggy’s death, Friends came on midday while I was home alone. Now, I liked Friends. I thought it was funny. I grew up when it was SUPER popular but, I was a teen when they were in their late 20’s early 30’s, I couldn’t relate. I watched it a few times as an adult but I was more into the drama and real ness of Sex and the City or Parenthood. Or I’d binge watch mindless reality TV shows like The Bachelor, or 90 Day Fiancé. Anyways, I decided to watch it that day. I can’t even remember what episode it was. But, I laughed my ass off. It was the first time I REALLY laughed since I lost Bug. I would laugh; then feel guilty for laughing and then another funny part would come on and I’d bust out laughing again. From that day on I have watched at least one episode of Friends a day. I watch it on repeat during the day if I’m not working. Or if I am working and I can’t watch it during the day, I’ll watch it on Netflix before bed. It’s just so damn funny and it taught me that it’s ok to laugh when things are funny. In the last 10 months I’ve seen each episode at least 5 times. My favorite episodes are the Vegas/Hand twin episode and the one where Rachel finds out she’s still married to Ross. The one where he fakes the English accent, so funny! Ross and Chandler are my favorite! I love them all! Rachel and Ross were definitely on a break. But, it doesn’t change the fact that what he did was shitty. Sadly, It will no longer be on Netflix as of Jan 1st, 2020. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

There are so many different types of friends,

Friends that feel like family.

Friends you mostly just party or drink with.

Friends you don’t see as often but as soon as you see them it’s like no time has past.

Friends you care about but wouldn’t particularly confide in.

Friends who need to see or talk to you constantly to feel like the friendship is validated.

Friends that you have met once or twice but feel like you’ve known them all your life.

Friends who don’t always have the best intentions, but you hope for the best.

Friends that will drop EVERYTHING when you experience a devastating loss. They make sure you are eating and drinking water. They brush your hair and help you shower. They come and clean your house. They are purely selfless.

I have so many amazing friends who have stepped up for me these last 10 months. I am so blessed. I don’t know how I could ever repay them. Other than pray that I will never have to return the favor. But that they know I would if I had to.

A couple of days ago after I had already decided to write this blog about Friends, one of my best friends sent me videos of Aria from her old Instagram account. An account that I didn’t have access to. It’s not that old, it was from 6th or 7th grade. There was one video of Aria singing. One of Aria’s closest friends said something mean and cruel.

Aria answered by saying “Please stop, I could put you down, but, I won’t because I know how horrible it feels.” She then goes on describing a recent incident of another friend calling her fat and how she stopped eating because of it.

I fell to the ground with an awful sinking feeling in my stomach.

How did I not know this?

How did I not see this?

Was it always this way? Was she always on pins and needles trying to please certain friends?

Hurtful words from strangers are just words. But when they come from your friends, they sting, they burn, you believe them, and it cuts deep.

As disgusted as I was with this development, I was so proud by how Aria handled herself. I know she wasn’t perfect. But, she had the opportunity to hurt her friend on social media and she chose not to. I always told her she could be anything she wanted to be in life other than a bully. No way, not in my house!

I am not putting any blame on these kids, I love these kids. Every single one of them. By no means do I believe they played a role in Aria’s death.

But hurtful words did play apart in how she saw herself.

Check in with your kids. Make sure they are in happy and supportive friendships. Make sure there is no pressure or malicious expectations in their friend group.

Most importantly, make sure your kid isn’t a bully! Teach your kids to be kind, caring, non-judgemental, open-minded, generous, uplifting, and loving! At the end of the day those are the most valuable qualities in life and in a FRIEND!

Such an incredible video that shows how incredibly loving and accepting Aria was/is!

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