Our Friend Has Died
Any loss is upsetting. Some losses are insupportable. Our friend’s death has occasioned a look at our memories.
For now, we remember our friend: the cheery encouragement to continue; the gentle and affectionate conversations; the thoughtful gifts; the trouble taken to remember significant days; the thank you letters; the little notes accompanying surprises (“I thought that this might interest you”); for such was Our Friend.
Then we recall exhortations, gentle and kind: “Call in on your way and we’ll have something together”; “do come and see the garden, it looks so pretty just now”; “have a read of this”; “I hope you have time to listen to this”; “I’m sending this for you to try”; for such was Our Friend.
Further, we remind ourselves of the telephone conversation starter: “Now I’m not disturbing you, am I?” For such was Our Friend. (When email became the norm and we were at a loss as to how to start one, he suggested “Hello” and it works extremely well).
Not only friend to us; but also friend and keeper and carer to many others. Teacher by example always; the theory made manifest. Selfless.
We are all sorry to see you no more. We are pleased that your sleep, when it came, was just that, gentle and unnoticed; we did love you.
The closing line of our conversations was always “Now, we’ll be in touch again, soon”; “We certainly will”.
And We Certainly Will; for Such was our friend. In the meantime, we remember.
Particularly we shall remember with bread; for our friend shared his bread with us, memorably.
That is the sign.
We also remember it was summer; it was June; it was sunny; remember; remember.