Well here’s something I never want to do again
This week I lost a friend. He took his own life.
That is very, very hard to deal with.
Know what’s harder? Spending the weekend with friends cleaning out his home.
You don’t really know how strong you are until you have to be. You don’t really know how strong your friends are until you’re 7 hours into the day and none of you have had a complete meltdown (just mini-meltdowns) and you’re getting things done in a task that seemed near impossible.
I know some strong fucking people, ya’ll. Holy shit I know some amazing people.
The brother of the friend we lost came from out of state to deal with things and was overwhelmed by how we all pulled together and I learned about a difference between a good friend and a great friend. A good friend is reactive. A good friend will hear you’re having a bad day or a bad week or a bad life and say, “Let me know what I can do for you.” They will offer help, but the pressure still remains with you.
A great friend is proactive. A great friend doesn’t only ask what you need, but they will also offer things that they can do. Or they just do shit. They send you love letters. They send messages online. They check in with you. They ask you out to things. They show up and support each other and clean a townhouse in a tragic situation not because they were asked to show up, but because that’s what great friends do.
We are ALL going through our own bullshit. You don’t know about all my bullshit. I don’t know about all of your bullshit. But my friends today, damn, whatever our own bullshit is it was put on the back burner and everyone was present and supportive and love and sorrow existed in the same space and the feelings weren’t at odds with each other and it was so hard but I am so grateful for the people I know.
I’m a good friend. I know this. Sometimes I’m a great friend. But I’m going to take what I learned today and work harder at maintaining greatness in my friendships a bit more. I encourage you to do the same.