Getting older means being able to accept losses. The longer you live the more of those losses you will suffer. You will realize how precious all contact has been. A long shared past even with a shorter to share future is nothing to put away in darkness. I had lost a dear younger sister over a dozen years ago. I mourned for many many reasons but one was the simple reality back then that we would not grow old together. That still haunts me as I experience more milestones in my life.
Wanting a friend to stay around as long as you do, is basically a selfish thing. My friend had no warning. I had talked to her Sunday, our usual lively sharing and perspective on what was important in our lives. Monday she was dead from cardiac arrest. This is fate I would not have predicted given the extreme longevity of both of her parents and her own relative good health.
So I want to pay tribute to a friend who for over 40 years was there to share so many parts of my life. We were both ‘professional’ counselors and were always there to turn a trained ear when things got more stressful. I will forever attest to the strength of her character and the sharpness of her wit. My only comfort is that in hindsight, she did repeatedly forecast this , “You know, you could just be gone tomorrow.” Maybe she somehow wished this sudden departure on herself.
So I am left to remember what a friendship really means and to be thankful for who she was and all that she gave me. At least we got a good part of the way together.