Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I haven't had the time or the inclination to add anything to Random Distractions in the last few days because I have been preoccupied by the sudden death of a dear friend. I am shocked and saddened but I have many happy memories from our long friendship and this unexpected event has made me stop and think about the importance of friends in my life. Whether they are long-established, newly-formed or even 'virtual', friendships are to be treasured.

Let us be thankful for the precious gift of friendship
for the people who accept us as we are
love us even in our least attractive moments
help us laugh at ourselves and laugh at life
encourage us, support us, believe in us, value us.
Let us never take friendship for granted
but tend it as a beautiful plant.
(adapted from a liturgy of the Iona Community)


  1. So sorry to hear your sad news, M. And you are right about friendships; they are just so precious wherever and however they are formed.

  2. I'm so sorry.

    The comfort of having had a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one.

  3. Thank you for your kind thoughts. I count you all among my precious friends, even if we haven't met.

  4. I'm sorry to read your sad news. Thanks for reminding me how important friendships, relationships, are.

  5. M my dear Friend, I am so sorry to hear of your loss, and sudden death is an even greater grief and sadness. I am so conscious as the years go on, how much more frequently I hear of the death of a person who has in some measure shared my life and am reminded again that 'in the midst of life we are in death'. In my younger years I made friends with such readiness not realizing what courage these friendships would demand . Here is something that I have found helpful and am glad to be able to share with you and your friends M.

    You were here and now you are not

    There is nothing to compare with the pain of death.
    You were here and now you are not.
    That's all.
    I search for you in old photographs, letters,
    things that you touched,
    things that remind me of you
    but they cannot fill the space you occupied

    The space is in me too,
    Bleeding round the edges where you were torn away.
    In the night, strange shapes haunt the space…
    Regret, fear, fury,
    All the things we might have done,
    All the shattered dreams.

    How can I go on with this hole inside me?
    Partial person!
    Don't let me fill the space with the wrong things.
    Don't let me cover it up, to eat me from within.
    Give me courage to bear my emptiness,
    to hold it gently
    Till the edges stop bleeding:
    Till the darkness becomes friendly;
    Till I see the stars at it's heart;
    Till it becomes a fertile place,
    Growing new life within it.

    If I had no loved, I would not have wept.
    This love you have given me;
    This love I have carried;
    this love has carried me.
    And I know that though I cannot see you, touch you,
    The love does not go away.
    Carried by love, we are not divided.

    Kathy Galloway

  6. Crinny, that is a beautiful poem. I see that Kathy Galloway is a member of the Iona Community. There is something about Celtic spirituality that touches me very deeply - maybe my Celtic heritage responding to like or perhaps it is that deep moodiness we Celts suffer from finding expression?

  7. So sorry to hear your news. We have also lost a dear friend recently. Will think of you and hope your online friends bring some comfort.

  8. Ali, thank you and I wish the same for you. Having to concentrate on leaving everything in order here before going to Oxford for the funeral has helped, as well as the kind thoughts of friends.


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