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Losing a friend

The sms was delivered whilst I was scrubbing the floors. So determined, was I, to remove all those doggy pawprints from the tiles that I didn’t even check my phone for an hour or so. When I finally glanced at it, the words said that a dear, dear friend had passed away.

Instantly, I was grief-stricken.

I grieve because I know I will no longer hear that delicate voice, that soft Danish lilt, that happy smile and gentle friendship I have had for the last 15 years or so. I don’t usually cry when someone dies, but I am crying now. Thinking that there will be no more cosy chats over coffee and cakes when we discuss the social happenings of the world. I shall miss that.

You and I first connected in a small folk dance group and seemed to immediately click. I liked that. I thought you were so refined and dignified. Yet you had a sense of humour and used it lasciviously at times, in private conversations! Oh, how we laughed about such things, me trying hard to recite old Danish sayings that I could never pronounce. You repeatedly tried to teach me again and again. You didn’t realise you were teaching me more than Danish sayings in the years we have been friends.

You had a way of giving me advice without it ever sounding like it was advice. It was always sensible, practical and sound, statements that simultaneously reassured and empathised. You listened when many others did not.

You were older than me, so much so that in another life, you could have been my mother. In a way you were like the Mum I wished I did have – but you were a friend even more than that. The age difference was no barrier to the bond I felt between us. Did you feel that too?

I know you appreciated it when people disregarded age or illness and chatted to you – as a real person.

You inspired me with your amazing strength and cheerful, “Hallo,” despite your multiple health issues. If only I could be as strong as you. Perhaps I can be stronger now that I have known you and glimpsed the best part of your journey.

I knew the end was soon to come, and there you were so prominent in my thoughts this morning, just as you were preparing to leave. It can be a blessing to know death is coming and also a terrible curse. My thoughts and sympathies are with your family. I cannot imagine the loss they must feel now you are gone.

Vale Merete, my friend.

As I write this rather sad post, another text arrives. A friend advises me of the birth of her new grandchild. A newborn baby girl named Adeline.

The circle of life begins again.

103 thoughts on “Losing a friend”

  1. What a beautiful post and tribute to your friend, and in it you teach us to value our friends – younger and older – and to cherish each day we have with them.

    For sure she is smiling over you now and will be always close, cheering you on – and who knows, perhaps helping nudge special alignments in your behalf/benefit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That thought of my friend nudging me forward is definitely comforting, Lisa, so I thank you sincerely for that genuine and heartfelt comment. Even if the thoughts of an afterlife are unrealistic to some, it can be soothing to think of that in our imagination.
      You are right, friendships both young and old are so very valuable and life can and does change in an instant. In maintaining an awareness of that volatility, we can appreciate and absorb each moment as it passes. Does that make sense?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a hard way to hear about the loss of a valuable friend. Friends are like silver and gold. To be cherished. You were so fortunate to have found each other and I’m sure you contributed as much to her life as she to yours. Most of my close friends are much older and wiser than I am so I understand the loss. All those little moments will keep coming back to mind so they are only gone is body though that connection will be sorely missed as well. I’m so sorry. Her face tell so much about her. Cheerful throughout and always ready to hear you. Nothing will make this easier. Hugs. m

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are adept at reading a person’s character in their face, Marlene. Because you could see that there in her expression. Waves of sadness creep up on me ever so often – it is part of the acceptance process but you are right. Nothing makes it easier. But life does go on and though I won’t forget I will find a way to tolerate the void. And in a way, I feel guilty that I should feel such sorrow. For I was not a family member – so why should I have the right to such sorrow?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Family is in the heart, not always in the blood. Grief does not need to be understood. It needs to be felt fully and allowed to be. No guilt required. Allow it to be what it is.

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  3. Amanda, my heart goes out to you, for your sorrow, for your loss of your dear close friend. Your loving caring friendship is one of those special ones that will never fade … yes, the strength she gave you will live on. I am sure Vale equally felt your warmth, joy and kindness – enriching each other’s lives. How wonderful about your friend’s grandchild and so true about the circle of life. Love & hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kind words, Annika. Thank you for sharing those here. Her daughter has echoed your thoughts since Merete passed away. I do miss her but that helps keep her memory alive. It is hard to believe she is gone.

      Liked by 1 person

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