Seems to me there’s a lesson learned with each lost friend – as with all of life’s significant experiences.
When the friendship is lost through death, there are perhaps different types of lessons, but they are there for the plucking if we choose.
There are the instantly obvious ones – like Sue, who used to use a reflector to get as dark a tan as possible on her face, and died of skin cancer at a young age. Like Pierre, a lively, hilarious chef, chronically overweight and physically inactive, who chain-smoked – and died young of a heart attack. Or Gerry and Mark – both brilliant and fascinating people, who died of AIDS, before it was really understood. Too bad they never met; they would have liked each other.
But the perhaps less obvious general lesson that dawns slowly as the losses increase, is to treasure a good friend; appreciate the ‘gifts’ that each friend brings; and realize he could be gone tomorrow. Gone is forever.