Friends, Death, and Bawdy Jokes

This is going to ramble a bit. Bear with me.

The news

I received news today that an old friend of mine passed away suddenly from a short illness. I was in shock at first, and then Nic held me as the tears came.

I hadn’t seen this friend in many years. Even before she moved back to the US we’d lost touch. Thanks to FB though, we managed to occasionally nudge each other, and seeing her face always made me smile. She was one of those people who never complained though she had every right to, and she was always quick to crack a joke or check in on you. I feel the world has lost a beautiful soul.

Aside-ish.

I’m not good at keeping in touch with people. I’m not friend material. I’m too awkward, too tired, and too wrapped up in work to be what a real friend should be. It doesn’t mean I don’t care, I’m just incredibly shit at reaching out of my shell and showing it. I think about people far more than they know.

But Renee’s death has made me regret being that way. Because life…it’s so fragile. It can disappear in an instant, and it’s so terribly…final. I can’t say goodbye. I can’t thank her for the terrible cups of tea and for the fantastically bawdy jokes. She’s just gone.

Our time can come at any moment. Regrets are waiting, poised like runners at the starting line to catch up to at the first available shot. I regret not keeping in touch, not knowing if she finally found that sexual dynamo she’d been looking for, not just saying hi. I hope she knew how many people cared for her.

Another Aside-ishness.

I think the internet has changed the face of friendship. Before it, we lost touch easily. People moved, grew up, got married, got divorced… but they weren’t on our path anymore, so we knew none of it. The friends you kept were the ones you made an effort to see and/or talk to.

Now, even old elementary school people you knew are “friends” on social media. We peer into one another’s lives from a distance, “like” a post, but rarely have a real conversation. So what is real friendship now? I just know I suck at real human communication, and I also know the likes of FB friendship can be shallower than a pond in the Sahara.

My point?

I have no idea. Perhaps it’s to say tell the people close to you how much they mean to you. Make sure they know, before you don’t have the chance. Choose your friends wisely and well and don’t be an attention Scrooge (like I am). Love.

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One thought on “Friends, Death, and Bawdy Jokes

  1. Losing bits of our past like that is hard. I think we tend to think of our past as immutable, or frozen time, as though it will always stay the way we remember it. (which was never really that way anyway, but that’s another story) So when a bit is no longer accessible it does sting a bit.

    Maybe do a bit of a ritual of farewell, write her a letter, say all the things you want to say, then when you’re ready, burn it so the energy reaches her, wherever she may be.

    Like

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