Counting the Missing: High School Reunions
Jul 12, 2012 by Victoria Noe
whatwoulddadsay.comIt’s that time of year for high school reunions. Maybe you’ve been invited to one this summer. Maybe, like me, you’re in between reunions.Some people are afraid to go, afraid to face the people they knew so long ago. They obsess about their weight, their jobs, their accomplishments, and often wind up talking themselves out of going. Others have only bad memories and are left with no desire to make new ones. Some look forward to the opportunity to reconnect, take stock, and, let’s admit it, brag.Sometime after the 20th, when most people are focused on bragging, the mood shifts. We spend less time talking about ourselves, and more time catching up with people we only seem to see at...
Coming Attractions on Friend Grief
Jun 04, 2012 by Victoria Noe
I’m in New York this week, for Book Expo America and to meet some writing deadlines that have been hanging over my head. I thought this is a good time to let you know what’s coming up in the next few months here on Friend Grief:1. Guests. I’m quite excited that you’ll be seeing a guest blogger once a month. Men and women, their ages will vary, as will their perspectives. One was a caregiver to her friend, another is a grief professional. Yet another will offer a new take on the AIDS epidemic. All are excellent writers. What they share is the experience of grieving the death of a friend.2. Book reviews. More than one person has pronounced my...
Friend Grief Lessons from "The Big Chill"
Mar 16, 2012 by Victoria Noe
This was the basis of one of my first blog posts, but it still resonates today: what happens when we receive the sudden, shocking news of a friend's death.Some of us are "at that age" when it seems we get this kind of news all-too-frequently. I've found out about the deaths of two friends - via Facebook status updates - in the past 6 weeks. It doesn't get easier. But you can lessen the guilt.Karen: “You'll never get this many people to come to my funeral.”Michael: “Oh, Karen, I'll come. And, you know... I'll bring a date.”You’re going about your day – conference calls, grocery shopping, carpool – when you get a call, a text, maybe an email with the...
Trying to Avoid Friend Grief? Good Luck with That
Feb 15, 2012 by Victoria Noe
A rose for each classmate who diedFirst of all, right off the bat, I’m going to say you can’t avoid friend grief. You can’t avoid grieving when a friend dies. But bear with me and read on.We grieve our friends because we love them. We grieve for anything we’ve lost: hair, energy, good looks, high metabolism, our first car. Why wouldn’t we grieve for friends?When someone is a part of your life – or was a part of your life – and they’re gone, there is a noticeable hole. Your life is now incomplete. That part of your life existed in part because of that friend. Your witness is gone.What if I hadn’t had the courage to strike up conversations...
“We’re at That Age” – Well, That Sucks
Feb 13, 2012 by Victoria Noe
Anytime my husband and I discuss a friend’s health issues – or sudden death – I can count on him to say, “we’re at that age”. It’s meant to explain away whatever’s happening, as if it were the only possible reason.Of course, to some extent that’s true. One of the downsides of growing older is that we lose a lot of people we love. We expect our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to die; after all, they’re a generation older than we are.But when people our own age – not to mention those younger – die, it’s a double loss. Because when our friends die, we lose a little of ourselves, too.I’ve spent the past couple weeks dealing with loss...