Losing a Friend

Life. Is. Short. Whether we live to be 100 or 49 it’s too soon to leave behind our family and friends. We somehow feel better though, when the person we lose is very old and had the opportunity to really experience all of the life they could live. It feels altogether different when the person who dies is in the prime of her life; when that sudden death comes out of the blue.

I had a next door neighbor whose life was cut short due to a sudden illness. That’s really weird to refer to her in the past tense. I didn’t know her long; just a couple of years, and we didn’t talk daily. Sometimes that’s how comfortable friendships are. Your friend is just, “there.” She’s there if you need a can of Cream of Chicken Soup or an ear to listen to your complaints. She’s comfortably “there” when you are scared because you’re home alone while your husband is out of town on business. You think nothing of shooting her a quick text to ask for this or that, or to just say- “Hey- I love your new patio chairs!” Those are the best kinds of friendships; the kinds with no pressure or strings attached- where the bond is just present and you don’t have to worry over it.

My friend was an elementary school teacher- she got her degree later in life. I admired her so much for her bravery. She wanted to do this thing, and so she just hauled off and did it. Wow. She really didn’t know how much I admired that about her. I never really told her. I wish I had. One thing I really love about her is that she always saw the amazingness in others. She gushed about every craft or DIY project I attempted. She was just as accomplished as me in that regard; maybe even more so because she tackled projects I’m honestly too intimidated to try. She was fearless (even though I know she felt afraid). I should have made sure she knew how wonderful I thought she was. I like to think she knew; maybe she did; hopefully she did.

We tell ourselves we’ll have time for the words we need to say. This is a lie we’ve made ourselves believe because it’s too painful to admit the truth. We don’t have any time, really. We always remember, in times like these. Then we forget again. I’ll likely forget until the next time something hurts me to my soul. Then I’ll remember, and wish I’d done some things differently. I hope not, though. I hope I’ll remember that things not said sometimes can never BE said.  I hope you remember too.

I’d like to ask, if you are a person who believes in prayer, please remember my friend’s sweet husband and her beautiful children and grandchildren in your prayers. They’ll need all the help they can get as they go on this journey without her guidance. Also for her friends who are too numerous to count. I can think of no greater help than that Christ offers. I believe the Bible and it promises us that “He is an ever present help in the time of trouble” and “He shall wipe every tear from their eyes.” These are the promises we cling to in times of loss. It’s good to have something to hold onto. That’s what I’m holding to today, for them… and me.

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