How Others Look at Friendship
Mar 09, 2011 by Victoria Noe
...or perhaps more accurately, how others look at grieving the death of a friend.You may feel alone after a friend has died. You may have a hard time finding people who understand what you’re going through. But it’s an experience we will all share some day.Following are quotes from a few people who understand:“A friend who dies, it’s something of you who dies.” – Gustave Flaubert“With every friend who has been taken into the brown bosom of the earth a part of me has been buried there; but their contribution to my being of happiness, strength and understanding remains to sustain me in an altered world.” – Helen Keller“Friends are together when they are separated, they are rich when they...
A Friend You Never Met
Mar 07, 2011 by Victoria Noe
Where were you when you heard John Lennon died?Princess Diana?Michael Jackson?Celebrity deaths – especially those that are sudden or violent – hold a certain fascination for many people. The media will be temporarily obsessed with the story.But what can seem unusual is the way some people mourn those celebrities – as if they were a close friend.Why is that?They’ve never met that particular celebrity, even though they may have bought their cd’s or seen their movies or watched their TV show.But they mourn.Jeff Goldblum was a guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and suddenly began to talk about the late Tim Russert, moderator of “Meet the Press”. Goldblum admitted he was upset for two days, when he heard of Russert’s sudden...
Chuckles the Clown
Mar 04, 2011 by Victoria Noe
Laughing at funerals is generally frowned upon (Irish wakes notwithstanding).People are expected to act a certain way: maybe not grief-stricken, but at least respectful of those who are and the person who has died. You get a lot of dirty looks if you’re the only one laughing.In recent years, there has been a movement to make wakes and funerals and memorial services more of a celebration of life. Laughing – in the context of shared memories – has become appropriate. Considered by the Chicago Tribune to be the funniest TV comedy episode of all time, "Chuckles Bites the Dust" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show concerned the death of Chuckles the Clown. Dressed as Peter Peanut, he was trampled by...
Our Parents’ Friends
Mar 02, 2011 by Victoria Noe
In the old Peanuts comic strip, adults were occasionally heard from but not seen. Now and then you’d see the lower part of a body, but never, ever a face. The adults were drawn as if at a child’s eye level: feet, legs, hands.When you were growing up, there were adults around you who were friends of your parents. They were the same kinds of friends you have: people they met at school, at work, in the military. They shared the same kinds of experiences: growing up, dating, marrying, divorcing, raising children, taking care of aging parents. They laughed and cried and argued and shared the special moments in their lives.Some of these adults may be as close to you...
Feb 28, 2011 by Victoria Noe
“Ask Amy” is a syndicated advice column written by Amy Dickinson. You may be familiar with her delightful memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville.In a recent column, a woman wrote about a friend of hers who had died, and was quite lonely at the end. Long-time friends had abandoned her while she was ill. The woman writing was distressed by the unnecessary loneliness and isolation her friend experienced.Death is not easy or comfortable or something that our society even finds easy to discuss. We don’t want to talk about it. We want to avoid the topic as long as possible. I suppose it’s why we talk in abstract terms of “if something happens to me…” If???Have you avoided a friend who was dying? Maybe...
“Why Didn’t You Tell Me?”
Feb 25, 2011 by Victoria Noe
I was going to write about Longtime Companion today, but realized I’d already posted about AIDS this week. I received an email from a friend the other day. I’d interviewed her for my book a while back, and she had a painful story about a friend of hers who had died. They’d lost touch, and when the friend died, she wasn’t notified. It was months later when she heard the news.Her email was almost unbelievable: the same thing had happened two more times. Three friends of hers had died. Three families had failed to notify her.Now, I haven’t talked to her since I received her email. She was clearly stunned that it had happened – twice – again.It did, however,...