Oh, the comfort, the inexplicable comfort of feeling safe with a person. Having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them out just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away
Our dearest friends – the family we create ourselves. They are the people who fill in the cracks in our lives – those needs we have that are unmet by family members and spouses. They understand us, listen to us, cry with us, rejoice with us. Our oldest friends know our history, our family, who we used to be. Our closest friends know what we need when we’re in crisis – a hug, advice, perspective, a latte, chocolate, a walk or just someone to sit with us in the abyss. When our most treasured friends die, we lose a part of ourselves. It’s a loss that every one of us will suffer more than once during our lifetimes.
Yet the death of a friend can be an unrecognized loss. Family members and other friends may not understand how or why you were so close to your deceased friend, especially if the two of you didn’t live in the same place or appear to spend that much time together. The attention and support is usually directed toward your dead friend’s family, as it should be, but this can leave you on the outside, alone with your grief.
Salt Water can connect you with others who have lost close friends, both male and female. We encourage you to be part of the conversation by sharing your story as the pain and grief from losing a friend can differ widely depending on the griever’s age, gender, family situation, relationship status, etc.
A few of our favorite resources on the death of a close friend:
- The Light Within: The Extraordinary Friendship of a Doctor and Patient Brought Together by Cancer
- Let’s Take the Long Way Home – Gail Caldwell’s memoir about her friendship with writer Caroline Knapp who died of cancer at age 42 in 2002 and the way they accepted each other, flaws and all
- Losing Max Ritvo – Professor Lucie Brock-Broido’s moving essay about her student and friend, the poet Max Ritvo
- My Friend Sam – Curtis Sittenfeld writes about friendship with Sam and how Sam’s cancer diagnosis affected it
- Friends Honor Artist’s Last Wish – A creative, beautiful tribute to artist Briar Bates whose dying wish was that her friends perform a joyful, awkward water ballet titled “Ankle Deep” in the kiddie wading pool at Volunteer Park in Seattle. The photos and video are magical.
We invite you to become part of our community. Share your story, ask a question, make a comment. We’d love to hear from you.
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