Every funeral I’ve ever been too, I’ve heard people, that is to say friends and family members, say “I wasn’t as close to him/her as other people but…” and then they express their pain. It is as if people are scared they may over step boundaries of what their relationship was. I always want to hug them, and tell them to value their relationship, in its fullness, it is not only okay to do that it is good for the soul.
The only exception to those who devalue their relationships are the ones who loudly proclaim that the deceased was someone only they knew. At one funeral I attended, a young girl stood up, wearing a slinky dress she claimed she had worn on their last date, and speaking to those in attendance said “I was the last person to have sex with him. I was closer to him than any of you.” I smiled to myself, and recalled in my head the stories of disconnect he’d felt with that lady friend, but I felt happy for her. While her timing IMHO was inappropriate, she still was honoring him in the best way she knew how, and fully appreciating their relationship. She wasn’t the closest to him, and she didn’t necessarily know him better than any of us, but she knew him in ways not all of us did. I respected her for holding onto that part of her relationship.
We all know people in our own unique situations, in ways that no one else does, our friendships are not duplicated
and cannot be. Who I am to my mother is different than who I am to my father. Who I am to my friend Vu is different than who I am to Adlet or Juan or McPocho or El Oso. I am not necessarily closer to one over the other, it is just that my relationships differ with each of them. Each of them is a part of my life in a special way that the others no nothing about.
Adlet called me tonight and we spoke for awhile, with great ease which made me laugh when I hung up and noted the time.
It made me laugh because we leave people awestruck in how fluidly we are able to communicate. We communicate so proficiently, in his fourth language (in which he is not fluent) that others are left wondering how we did it. He is a part of my life, few know of, and even less can appreciate.
What I am getting at is love your friends as completely when you have them as when you don’t. It should never be greater before for after, but equally respected, and appreciated.