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October 5, 2011

Friends, and The Importance Of ....

Ruth and Naomi. Mixed Media by Mil Lubroth.

 Long time, no post. Apologies, but life has brought many an interruption my way of late.  Getting back on track, though, it's time to announce the Blog's next theme: Friends.

I was reading obituaries in last Sunday's paper and found one that mentioned a woman was survived by two "dear friends,"  who were listed in the notice just as family members are. It was a beautiful gesture, and seeing this led me to think (not for the first time) about friends I miss and friends who have helped me travel the landscape of loss. I know I'm not alone in these thoughts. And, I feel sure that others have experienced what I have:  our society honors your grief when you lose a family member, but barely takes notice when you lose a friend.

So, we'll have a two-fold theme from now through November 15, 2011.  You're invited to send written and visual memories of and tributes to friends who have died, as well as stories, memories, poems, photos of friends who have accompanied you through a loss. 

I've been blessed with a surprise friend this past year, who has played a major role in helping me keep walking through life without my sister. I could never have predicted her arrival in my life, but here she is, steady and supportive. I have also been blessed by friends I've known since childhood, who have reappeared and offered support unique to our longstanding relationships. We have been able to partake of our shared memories in a way that creates a profound sense of communion. Who has been there for you in your journey? Who has helped you, surprised you, supported you, challenged you? How did your life change when a friend passed away? What did you learn from their living and their leaving? How are you a different person because of that friend? You're invited to share these thoughts and others with the understanding readers of this blog, as we continue to learn to "get along" with grief.

The image above is of an artwork by my dear friend, artist Mil Lubroth, a woman who truly understood friendship and who made a gift of that friendship to many. I was blessed to be among those so gifted. 


  1. I am reminded of my friend, Kathy, and her dog, Blue. She asked me to acompany her when she had to have her old-time companion "put to sleep". He lived with her and slept with her. He had been her closest companion for much of her adult life. He was obviously in great pain, but she needed a Human friend to help her cope with doing what she had decided to do.
    I was not there when she took her own life, though I had tried to help her deal with her own failing health and pain. She had been my closest companion and I could feel something of what she had felt when her other best friend was gone. I go on because I must, because she felt she could not go on.

  2. Dear Hierogamous: Thank you for sharing this. First, our pets are certainly our friends. Losing a friend to suicide is, I think, the most difficult way to lose a friend. You are doing what we all must do in the face of a loss, which is--though simply put, it takes such strength to do--go on, because we must. In a real sense, we do it for our loved ones who have passed on as much as for ourselves. In some ways, I think we go on for them more than we do for ourselves. Kathy was blessed to have you as her friend.