Friday, December 16, 2011

No One Expects Their Friends to Die

I’m reposting again, a blog entry from last March, originally titled “Let’s Be Careful Out There”.
Last night I had dinner with a few of the classmates referred to here. Most of us hadn’t gotten together in over a year, at our last reunion. But thanks to one persistent woman, there were about 20 of us, laughing and catching up. It was, again, as if no time had passed.
We noted several who weren’t there: one woman whose mother died a few days ago, another whose husband is ill, still another who has MS. We’re at the age when we get paranoid when someone’s a no-show.
So for all our friends, enjoy:

At the end of the morning roll call on the 80’s hit Hill Street Blues, Phil would always remind his comrades “let’s be careful out there.”
They were cops. They knew every day could be their last.
Not everyone lives that consciously, certainly not when they’re younger.
But the truth of the matter is, the world is a dangerous place. Stuff happens, no matter where you live.
We can eat healthy foods, exercise every day, do all the things that are supposed to “guarantee” a long life and still not reach that goal.
This photo is from my 40th high school reunion. Each rose represents one girl from my class of 122 who died; there are 9. One died our senior year, the most recent, two years ago.
As we age, we lose more and more friends. It’s just the law of averages, and not unexpected. What we don’t expect are the “before their time” deaths.
We don’t expect to experience a friend’s death before we’re old enough to vote.
We don’t expect to experience a friend’s death before our hair turns grey.
We don’t expect to experience a friend’s death, period.
So when it happens, we can become skittish, paranoid about our remaining friends. We pester them to lose weight, exercise more, or have that mammogram. We probably annoy them beyond words, and they might even tell us to back off.
Too damn bad.
The price of being a friend is that you are loved.
And you’ll just have to live with that.


kathleen pooler said...

Hey Viki, so true! I love how you get right to the heart of the matter. There's always a price to pay when we love someone. Thanks for the reminder

Friend Grief said...

Our mini-reunion Thursday night brought it all back. I brought a rubbing from the 9/11 Memorial of our classmate's name. But really, the night was about appreciating and keeping in touch with each other. Thanks for the comment!