Two of my friends lost their fathers this week. Attending all the social functions that accompany death--viewing, funeral, wake--reconnected me with old friends who I haven't seen in far too long. As usually happens at such times, my friends and I spent hours reminiscing about the departed, retelling stories that we all knew, healing through laughter. That is surely one of the primary functions of these events.
I found myself wondering when I had become the guy who only sees his friends at funerals. Actually, I wondered aloud, if a Facebook status counts as aloud. There's nothing mysterious about it; the usual culprits--jobs, families, responsibilities--gradually ate more and more time over the years, leaving friendly get-togethers to dwindle away. Guys I used to see nearly every day were now men I talk to maybe once a year.
Some good can come from even the saddest of circumstances. As Rajnar Vajra posted on my Facebook status, it's better to be the guy who sees his friends at funerals that it is to be the guy who doesn't see his friends at funerals. True enough; good friends are a blessing to be appreciated, especially during difficult times. And seeing death up close and personal puts people in the mood to reconnect with the past. At the end of it all my friends and I scattered again--meetings to attend, and all--but not before agreeing to organize a grand get-together this summer. Will we follow through? Who knows; it's very easy to succumb to daily pressures and blur the long term goal that once looked so clear. I sincerely hope that we don't allow that to happen this time, that we do follow through on our vow to get together, at least this once.
Because this once just might open the door to another.