Sunday, November 28, 2010

R.I.P. Old Friend

"I hold it true, whate'er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "In Memoriam" says it well. You see, I lost a dear friend today. We shared many, many moments. Most of them very good. Some a bit tenuous. Yet generally we loved well and today, well today I lost this friend.

I could tell you stories. We go back about 10 years together. Few were the days that we did not share moments of reflection, relaxation, and sometimes .... tears. I suppose that good friends share all of those things. My friend seemed to understand my moods and actually shaped his own attitude to echo mine. This allowed us to have a "hand in glove" kind of relationship. My family knew my friend and loved him as well. Even my "pets of old" knew him and could not get enough of his comforting presence. He was a shared friend. I would introduce him to my friends and they would inevitably say later on that they wish they had a friend like mine. I was blessed ... richer for having had this relationship. I miss him so much. We always did supper together on Sunday nights after church. Tonight I had to eat with a new friend. It was not an altogether unpleasant experience. Neither did it rival Sunday nights gone by.

The end came today around 2PM. I can't say it was unexpected. I had helped make arrangements for the inevitable. One never enjoys that kind of duty. And yet someone must do it. These things don't just take care of themselves. And so today I drug my friend out to the garage and lay him on the floor. He was, for all practical purposes, gone. Less than a mere shadow of himself. I don't have a picture close by of his good days. But today ... toward the end ... we hugged. And I took one last photo. And I lay him to rest.

R.I.P. old friend.