In the old Peanuts comic strip, adults were occasionally heard from but not seen. Now and then you’d see the lower part of a body, but never, ever a face. The adults were drawn as if at a child’s eye level: feet, legs, hands.
When you were growing up, there were adults around you who were friends of your parents. They were the same kinds of friends you have: people they met at school, at work, in the military. They shared the same kinds of experiences: growing up, dating, marrying, divorcing, raising children, taking care of aging parents. They laughed and cried and argued and shared the special moments in their lives.
Some of these adults may be as close to you – or closer – than your own parents.
As we grow older ourselves, these adults – these role models – will also die. And our parents will grieve them as surely as you will grieve your friends.
Perhaps the worst part of growing older – aside from the inevitable physical limitations – is outliving people you love.
Next time your parent loses a friend, encourage them to share memories with you.
Because it is through sharing memories that people live on.