Monday, 12 March 2012

Thinking about friendship

This evening I was all set to do a book review of 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett, which I loved and found difficult to put down. However, having received some sad news today I feel distracted and so conscious of passing years.

A friend died yesterday. Perhaps I should say, someone I was friends with a few years ago died. How to describe it? Well, sitting here now with tears in my eyes I would say I was fond of her. But I haven't actually seen her for probably more than a decade and we have not been part of each other's lives. We once mixed in the same circles and then we moved on. However, we had many mutual friends and my sympathies are with those friends, her husband and family who must feel her loss so keenly.

Time marches on so quickly. Even though we were never very close friends, I was really looking forward to seeing Annie this summer at a friend's hen do. Our paths would have crossed again and it would have been one of those easy resumptions of friendship. You know those times? When you haven't seen someone for ages but within minutes you are laughing together as if it was only last week? I think of her as someone whose smile and laughter would light up a room.

Sadly, that opportunity to catch up is not to be. No swapping stories of having two young daughters, and living through cancer treatment. Her cancer returned and I can only imagine the pain that must have brought.

Could we do things differently? I am usually pragmatic about friendships lapsing. Life takes you in different directions, you can't expect to be in touch with everyone all the time. But those friends from your youth shared an important part of your past. Do you make an assumption that they will be a part of your future without actually committing to making that happen?

So, the book review will wait and I'll think of my friends instead. Friends I have now and the friends who although I am no longer in touch with, I have great fondness for. If you are a friend from my past, I do so hope you will be a friend in my future.

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