That’s What Friends Are For

by Kathy on April 2, 2012 · 4 comments

in Background, Coping, Dreams, Faith, Family, Friends, Grief, Healing, Life, Loss, Love, Memories, Peace, Relationships, Sadness, Song Lyrics, Time

One year ago today, on Saturday, April 2, 2011, an old and dear friend of mine died.

Two days later, on Monday, I got “the call” from my friend’s aunt with the news.

Those are the calls you never, ever, want to receive. Listening to the person on the other end of the line is beyond surreal.

Our conversation was brief. My friend’s aunt gave me some details about the funeral, burial and Shiva which would be held that Wednesday. She told me that I didn’t need to come for the services, but that the family wanted me to know what had happened. I assured her that I would be there and then we hung up.

I can still picture those initial moments as the news of my friend’s death began to set in.

My friend and I hadn’t seen each other in years. I felt sad about and sorry for that. There were many reasons why we had grown apart. But it was still devastating for me to learn of her passing.

I also struggled initially with not having the opportunity to say goodbye to my friend, though I had a comforting dream not long after her death which helped me to make peace with that.

I think the last time we were together my friend, her boyfriend (at the time) and her mother (who is also a close friend) came over to my parents’ house/my childhood home to meet Sean. It was Thanksgiving 2003 and Sean was almost two months old. I have photos from that evening, of my friend holding my new baby boy.

After that I know we were in touch off and on. I recall a few telephone conversations, as well as exchanging holiday cards and gifts mostly through the mail. I also remember that my friend sent a very kind sympathy card after our daughter Molly was born and died in 2008. She may have also sent a card and gift after Abby was born in September 2009, but they never got to see each other/meet in person.

But that was it, nothing since, at least that I can recall.

A few times over the past year I have questioned why my friend’s death hit me so hard, when we had been disconnected for so long. I even discussed with my therapist who helped me to make sense of my grief and tie it in with other losses I have also been working through.

As I shared in this post around this time last year, my friend, her sister and I, had a song that was very special to the three of us. It was “our song” and we used to sing it together. It is bittersweet for me to reflect on the lyrics today, in light of my friend’s death, as the words are eerily foreshadowing of what was to come.

I will leave you with the lyrics to That’s What Friends Are For (written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sayer), as well as a wish and prayer for all those whose lives were touched and better for knowing my friend. I know that she will never be forgotten and that her memory is held dear by so many as we honor her life and memory today. Rest in peace my friend.

That’s What Friends Are For

And I, never thought I’d feel this way,
and as far as I’m concerned,
I’m glad I got the chance to say,
that I do believe I love you.

And if, I should ever go away,
well than close your eyes and try
to feel the way we do today.
And then if you can remember,

Keep smiling, keep shining,
knowing you can always count on me,
for sure,
that’s what friends are for.
In good times,
in bad times,
I’ll be on your side forever more,
that’s what friends are for.

Well you came and opened me
and now there’s so much more I see.
And so by the way I thank you.
And then, for the times when we’re apart.
Well then close your eyes and know,
these words are comin’ from my heart.
And then if you can remember,

Keep smiling, keep shining,
knowing you can always count on me,
for sure,
that’s what friends are for.
In good times,
in bad times,
I’ll be on your side forever more,
that’s what friends are for.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jjiraffe April 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a very special friend. Abiding with you…
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2 Kristin April 3, 2012 at 12:57 am

Abiding with you while you remember your friend.

I love that song…always have.
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3 Justine April 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss … sending love and light to you today, and thinking of your friend.
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4 loribeth April 16, 2012 at 10:43 am

So sorry about your friend, Kathy. 🙁
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