Saturday, December 19, 2009

Funeral for a friend

For more than 30 years I've been friends with a guy named Simon.

We raised our families together, went on holidays together, worked on projects together.

More than that, he was an excellent friend and a brilliant 'advisor / counsellor' to me personally.

In the last couple of years, knowing that he was ill gave us both a new sense of purpose to our friendship. All of our conversations were positive ... he seemed never to give in to negativity or despair.

As I've begun to reconfigure my life this year, Simon was supportive, helpful and wise. We were working out how he could take on a role as some sort of advisor / director in the business aspects of what I planned to do.

He met me at the airport when I got back from Brazil in August after he'd just been to the consultant.

That's when he knew he'd run out of road.

Over the next few months we saw each other from time to time and he continued to give me good advice and support ... some of which I'm still thinking about.

During that time I've been distracted and dithering.

But he faded fast and his light went out just over a week ago.

This week I attended his funeral.

Today I realise how much I miss him as a friend and what a gap he leaves in what I want to be and do.

Today I'm finding it hard to find the ground beneath my feet.

So sorry to hear of your loss Peter. I do pray that you find the solid ground to walk on and may God hold you in his hand as you work through the loss
How very sad. I know how knocked back I was last week when an acquaintance/neighbour exactly my age who I liked a lot finally lost her battle with cancer. It's been all I can think about so I can't begin to imagine how hard it is to lose such a close friend. Take care, Peter.
A devastating post - but your words are a fitting tribute. Do take care x
pete beautifully put steve
Thank you all for your kind comments.
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.
It's obvious that life for every single one of us from the moment we are born involves having to experience change: change in the roles we play or assume, changes in our beliefs, changes in our relationships, and in our status, in fact every one of life's transitional phases, great or small - puberty, loss of virginity, leaving school, moving house, changing jobs, getting married, having children, divorcing, becoming ill, retiring - they're changes that force us all, no matter how reluctantly, to say goodbye to something. Dr Elizabeth Kubler Ross called these changes 'the little deaths of life'.
I see our experience of these 'little deaths' as a way of preparing ourselves for the ultimate change, death itself. Without them I don't think I would have found the strength to nurse my cancer stricken mother through the last eight months of her life, and as difficult as it was, I know it was an experience I couldn't have missed.
It's obvious from reading your blog entries (and often reading between the lines of them) that you yourself have had to cope with your fair share of changes, and the sad loss of your friend is yet another change that life is forcing you to contend with.
In fact, I think the word 'cope' here is significant, it's what we all have to learn to do - cope with life's difficulties, and as someone who almost seems at times (your 'life experiment' as an example) to almost encourage change, I think you're more equipped than you dare to realise.
Anonymous ... thank you for the thoughtful comment. Who are you?
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