Do we let our friends just fade away?

Do we start to even forget what they look like?

I got word today that a good friend of mine – well, OK, to ME she’s a good friend, to HER I’m not sure whether I qualify – has Stage IV cancer, and will die sometime in the next year. I even asked her how much time she had. And told her I wanted to be of some help. Her answer:

Most of the people I know IRL are uncomfortable with it. It’s difficult.

That doesn’t surprise me. We will often handle bad news from our friends this way: because we don’t know what to do, or we know there is nothing we CAN do, or maybe we just want as little to do with the matter as possible.

But this is a person who I watched bring light and life into the world, every day. A strong intellect, a quick wit, an appreciation of good humor, a love of life. For me, just knowing that she’s going means the beauty of the world is less than it was.

But is that all? If this is a person I claim to value, should I LET her fade away? I tell you: no. I have no real gift to make her last few months happier or more comfortable, but such as I have I will give. In doing so, I will at least remind her that she was loved in this life, and that someone will remember her when she moves on to whatever awaits us after.

I promised her “diversions.” That I can do. And that you can do, when death comes for your friends too.


~ by Ron Graham on May 29, 2011.

One Response to “Do we let our friends just fade away?”

  1. People tend to fade away from someone that is dying because of the reasons you listed above, but also because they are trying to avoid the pain that they will suffer at the loss of the friend. It hurts when you lose someone you love, but if you start to distance yourself from that loved one, you are hoping you will lessen the pain when the end comes. I don’t know if it works or not, but I think it is a natural tendency for people to do that.

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