A friend wrote about his buddy’s death and here’s how I responded:
“I too have been fortunate enough, John, to lead a life cast with many magnificent friends who stick around. That’s why I wince when I read your post -- for I sympathize with the pain.
My grandmother was much the same as us, my own Rock and my very best friend. Close friends she made easily and often; then she hung on to these like telemarketers with extended auto warranties to peddle.
And yet somehow, she found a way to be grateful and gracious whenever one of her old friend's time came to exit the stage. Applaud through the tears, it seems -- that's OUR lot, those of us who survive our buddies. A lesson I learned from her.
Her sister, my great aunt Margaret, is the same way too -- with one additional skill. At 92 years old and blind, she keeps right on making new friends as she lives on. Margaret possesses and knows the full value of a kind, truly friendly heart. It's quite easy for her. I mean -- LOOK AT THAT HAT!
Be like Granny and Margaret, both "friend-full" and resilient. Taking gratitude and grief in equal measure is a tough recipe, but worth the price. It’s not the only trick my Granny taught me! Hit me up when you need a friend.
Oh, and John . . . a jaunty hat never hurts!”