(I have been wanting to do a series of posts about friendship, and specifically about being a friend of God. This is the eighth post of the series. The previous posts are here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
One of the certainties about life is no one gets out alive. We all know our time on earth is limited. We are the only creatures on the planet that know in advance they are going to die one day. One might think we would take it more seriously.
In great friendships, life is shared; death, too. Someday we are going to wrestle with the loss of a beloved friend. I don’t often sit around and think about it, yet the reality is one of my friends will pass on, eventually. I hope to go first but who can say?
In respect to the future death of one of my heaven-bound friends, I have considered these 5 thoughts:
- I will miss him terribly
- The world will seem less colorful, less loving, less friendly
- I will have to find a way to keep going without him
- I will get to see him again, in heaven
- I will probably be a little jealous
Life is hard. It is made easier when shared with best friends. These thoughts of death drive home the significance of delighting in the time we have now: making new memories, and literally LOL about the old ones. The point of this post is:
great friends = great memories
No one gets through life without “bad” memories. A death, loss of something important, rejection, a trauma, the moment we found out the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, the first (or last) time someone broke our heart, a poor choice with overwhelming consequences, a failed marriage, an unrealized dream. Even so, we can choose to let these moments make us better, not bitter.
A great friendship is a treasure chest of priceless memories to remember, and to be created. Memories can just happen but they can be created too. This hit home for me when I learned to say “yes” more often than “no”.
Creating memories may require effort and time. Almost always, we get more out of them than we put in. Looking for opportunities to create new memories can become a practice, even a habit. When one of my friends suggests going to a future event – something related to a remark I made months ago – I feel special. It reminds me I am important to someone.
There is an secondary benefit of making memories: remembering them later. Even better: remembering them with the friends who helped create them. As we age, good memories grow sweeter. I haven’t met anyone with too many good memories. I have met a bunch of people with too many bad ones.
We were created by God to live and love abundantly in our relationships. Our lives should have substance, depth, weight. The more abundantly we live, the bigger the void in the world when we leave it.
Note to my friends and family:
When I die, do me a favor… fill up the void with our memories.