Change and not for the better.......
Friendship is a weird one don't you think? You start out tentatively making, and all too often, breaking friends as a child, wondering what the hell it's all about, then in adulthood it is assumed you'll have a solid group of friends, never to change.
Adult friendships are "supposed" to be the ones that never change, the ones you can always count on to be there, even if you don't see one another for what can often be weeks, months, even years.
But sometimes they do change. And sometimes they change in the worst way, when they simply aren't there anymore.
My husband came home recently, visibly shaking at the news he'd just received that a friend of his, of ours, only a few years older than us, had passed away. It was a real shock. At the risk of dealing out cliches, he just wasn't meant to go so soon. Things aren't supposed to change like this are they? And when this kind of change happens and you see the ones you love, the strongest of strong people break down and dissolve into tears, the kind of tears you dread seeing, you know you just grew up that little bit more than you wanted to and it's yet another depressing statistic of "being a grown up."
More depressing still, in chatting to three different friends about it over the following days and weeks, they were going through it too, in suddenly all losing different friends who had done just this - gone too soon. It struck me that so many of us are hit with this over the course of our lives and, typically for me, it got me thinking.
It's one thing to have friendships that change and evolve over the years, that's just how things are, but to have ones that end before you can say "remember when...." has to be the hardest thing for those left behind. Hearing people speak about our friend at the celebration of his life that followed the funeral, (a celebration is the best word I can come up with as this seriously was a full day and night of reminiscing, laughing and sharing stories in a way I'd never before seen at a funeral) was amazing. Every speech, be it at the funeral itself or in chatting to people afterwards was heartfelt, the things that were said were so beautiful, (though there were more than a few funny ones that can't / won't / should never see the light of day ever again) made me think how lucky he was to have so many friends who thought so, so much of him.
It also made me question when was the last time I said anything particularly deep, meaningful or heartfelt to any of my friends? Anything other than the standard daft jokes, tagging each other in ridiculous memes or GIF's (a current favourite within a particular group of friends of mine that genuinely makes me laugh rather than "LOL") How often do we take friendships for granted and just expect that they automatically know how much they mean to us?
At the risk of sounding a bit too much like the Bishop at the recent Royal wedding on how much love you should show to one another, it did make me reflect just how many of us really do this? In one sense, it's all too easy to let life drift on and expect people to be there as and when you need them. But actually you really need to send that message, pick up that phone, or tell them in person that you care.
Or write a blog post about it perhaps.
Because sometimes, it's just too late. xx