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Memories on my windowsill …

From Flowers, by Robert Mapplethorpe

From Flowers, by Robert Mapplethorpe

I am so sad at present, finding it hard to settle my mind.  Monday, I received a call telling me of the shockingly unexpected death of a dear friend at the weekend. Sad. Sad. Sad. The word is bouncing at me from all directions; my emotions discombobulating my brain.

My world is diminished by his loss.

Close friends for over a decade, I hadn’t seen a lot of T in the past few years.  I am exhausted and constrained by illness: he moved away to the country to start a new life with his partner.

We corresponded sporadically – the usual Christmas, birthday and occasional emails.  He replied to me less and less.  I assumed he was as busy as we were – immediate demands trumping older friendships, as they do – and hoped he was happy, doing well, enjoying his new life and chosen direction.

I never felt him less of a friend for the lack of contact.  You know that handful of friends you have that are like family, your ‘peeps’, those who just  totally get you and you them?  T was one such, for me. One of the handful that I truly love – though I never say it – but, it is there, run solid, an unwavering sensation of joy, liking, appreciation and affection forged by a friendship that sparkles in mind and soul.

I knew, whether it was two weeks, one year or ten, any time, we would be able to pickup where we left off, laughing, having fun and just connecting as true friends do – the catch of an eye, smirk of a lip, a word, a look … cue laughter, empathy, sharing and warmth.

True, deep friendship is like that, isn’t it?  Secure. Unshakeable. Permanently a part of you. Each such  friend, a blessing, comfort and beacon of hope in a harsh cold world.

In the silence, I assumed happiness for T … my assumption was horribly wrong.

T was struggling and, like so many of us, withdrew to suffer alone.  I was distraught to hear that T had been unwell, following an accident.  This had caused much difficulty and unhappiness over the past few years.  My heart breaks that this unhappy period for him, and his partner, should end with the loss to us all of Tony’s love, charm, kindness, laughter and life.

Too soon.  But there it is.  T is dead.  No more laughter.  The best is past.  I mourn for my friend and yet, I celebrate his life, albeit too short in time.

From her biography, Dorothea Tanning memorably described friends who have passed as:

‘fireflies…each one a bit of phosphorus, a life that brushed mine and caused me, in its  glow, to exist,  

And now they sit on memories windowsill…’

How this resonates with me. T’s life brushed all of us, his friends, with his own unique light,  I am so glad to have met him, known him and feel him to have been one of the dearest of my friends.

I shall miss him and remember him with joy to my end of day.

With love and deepest sorrow, I raise a glass of the sparkling champagne that we so often shared, to toast his memory, the good times and the friendship we enjoyed.

RIP, my lovely friend. You are a light that will glow with brilliance on my memories windowsill.


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