A friend is dying. He is not expected to survive the weekend. For now, out of respect for his wife and young children, I will keep my friend anonymous, but soon I will share more of his story. His illness, which became known just a few months ago, and his death will not rob me of his memory. Instead, I will cherish them and, as the great Warren Zevon said, I will hold him in my heart forever.
I will pray for the strength to appreciate the blessing of having been his friend and for the capacity to help his family through this tragedy in any way that I can.
I do not have many friends. My friend does. He has many friends because he knows how to make each of us feel like we are the most special friend in the world; that our ideas are the most valued; our jokes are the funniest; and our friendship the most cherished. He wasn’t pretending. He valued every one of his friends in a special, unique way. He understood that true friends are to be valued above all else, and in his last months he appreciated that he was given a chance to see first hand how much we friends cherished his friendship. He conceded it was a lousy way to find out how much he was loved, but he was glad he had a chance to experience it, knowing many given a similar sentence do not.
His slight, bright smile. The way his eyes lit up while either telling a joke or winning an argument. His passion for life. His love for his family. These are the memories I will hold. I did not get a chance to say goodbye properly. I am saying goodbye now in as many ways that I can. But mostly, I am saying thank you for being my friend and giving me so much of you.