Tomorrow, I am attending a funeral of a special friend. That’s what I’ve told people and they have reacted with horror and sadness….even more so because they’ve assumed it was a peer.
No. He was almost 85 and, of course it is still awfully sad and upsetting, but I do comprehend people’s reaction. Of course, it’s less shocking for a man of 85 to die suddenly. But it in terms of friendship, it is no less important.
I’ve thought about this for a while. Originally, when I started visiting my friend at his care home, I used to call him my “neighbour” or more specifically “my neighbor’s brother” or “a man I volunteered to visit”. Could I also call him a grandad figure? I could…but, no. That’s not needed. He was pure and simply someone I was close to: a friend.
Friendship can occur between any two individuals. You can be as close to someone ten years younger than you, as you can twenty years older than you. I’m learning this more and more as I get older. Some of the colleagues I get on best with are in their fifties. Or, equally in their twenties. Frequently, I’ve met people who were the same year at school as I was….. we are the same age; we know similar people. But we didn’t click. It takes more than age to create a bond with someone…. interests, morals, sense of humour are more vital than the year you were born. Friendship has no age or barriers.
So tomorrow, I say goodbye to a friend whom I laughed with. A friend whom I had tea and cake with. A friend I looked at photographs with.