The Friendship Obituaries

When life throws painful nonsense at you, write something.

Who gets through life without losing a friend? When I ask that, I don’t mean losing a friend to the world beyond the veil. The friendship isn’t dead in those cases. The person is gone, but the love, the care, the thoughts remain.

My friend blurred out...

No. I mean loss through argument, betrayal, and other dangerous doors.

The friendship dies and needs to be buried. Maybe you have a ritual for loss of this kind, but most of us, I think, don’t give these losses the attention they deserve.

Who breaks your heart more: friends or lovers?
(I hoped the stars helped you if friend and lover were one and the same.)

A few days ago a friend wrote me this: I do not want to be friends with any of you anymore. Do not contact me anymore. Leave me alone.

That’s clear, isn’t it? This friend wrote this to me and two others. The four of us had been friends since 1987.

The first time I met L…

…she stood next to a box at dorm room window. She introduced me to her mother. I thought she looked nothing like her mother.

I was right. Her mother was really her step-mother and I would later learn how her step-mother used to hit her with a hairbrush and call her a whore because a few boys had seen her underwear when she’d swung too high on the swing.

Her real mother had died a few months after she was born.

I had had a step-mother, and she and I shared a lot of stories in that dorm room. Perhaps I shared more. In my memory, I was more forthcoming than she was.

She shrugged a lot at the end of her stories.

She made me laugh though. She had a quirky sense of humor. “Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?”

“Why?”

“It died. Why did the second monkey fall out of the tree?”

“It died?””

“No. It was stapled to the first monkey.”

I laughed every time. I still laugh.

In favorite photograph of her I am hiding under a pile of pillows and she has a notebook in her hand. On a page she has written bad and drawn an arrow. She’s holding it so that the arrow points towards the pillows.

That was a long time ago.

Please leave your own Friendship Obituary. I plan on this being a series (because unfortunately I’ve the material). Other obituaries welcome.

Round and round she went, they said…

Today a friend of 25 years informed me she no longer wanted to be my friend. I’m not to contact her again. The reasons are guesses. Perhaps I paid too much attention to other things. Maybe she’s cutting herself off from a difficult past. Maybe something is going on in her life she doesn’t want me to know. 

It isn’t just me. A couple of other friends have been told never to contact her again. What does one say when this happens? Let her go or insist on an explanation?

She used to make up poems. 

Round and round she went, they said,

with anything under the sun.

But when came down to it,

she didn’t at all.

She made that up while we were hanging out in our dorm room. For some reason it stuck in my head, and decades later I still remember it. 

I wish her well.