The People Who Stand By You

In times of need and in times of calm, you can really see who a friend is and who is not.

When someone dies, people process it, own it, claim it, elbow their way into the center of the grieving. Sometimes appropriately, sometimes not. But who’s to judge? A death reminds us all how fragile we are, how terminal each life.

When someone close to you dies, you see different variations of friendships. There are those who won’t leave your side and those who hide in the corners and those who appear, as if out of the eaves, to hold your hand and bring you coffee, and then disappear just as readily the minute mourning ends.

So, too, when someone is sick, or has a life crisis, the strangest people show up to be saviors while those you once thought friends quiver and quake, not sure what to do or even if they can do anything.

I’m intrigued by the ways we process life’s tenuous situations.

Are you a wailer, loud and clear, so people can see how deeply you feel? Are you an avoider, sitting at home, telling yourself stories of why you don’t really matter at the scene of heightened emotion?

For now, I’m looking for a little peace and quiet.

And I think we all are, really. My kids in particular want to stay home, lay low, just breathe. And I can’t blame them – given the hyper-pace of Life Today.

In the middle of the quiet, you can hear the moments shifting. Then, you know how to look straight ahead at the gleaming blue pool of the sunrise over the neighbor’s roof.

If I sit still enough to notice time changing, I can embrace as it washes over me like that same sunrise, knowing it is fleeting but basking in its wondrous colors ever so briefly.

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