Photograph courtesy of Harry Cunningham, Unsplash

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art . . . it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” C.S. Lewis



Moon-glister spilled itself over
The city the night you died,
The night the fire of your life
Leapt into the heavens to, no
Doubt, make minestrone for
The angels . . .

You left the good and not so
Good, your fave armchair for
Thursday Coffee Klatch and the
Walker you found so awkward

You left us too, your neighbors
And friends, we’ll miss your wide
Smiles and throaty laughter, the
Roll of your eyes, your dry humor
Your singular irreverence . . .

© 2020, Jamie Dedes

During the night of May 12 we lost a neighbor and friend. By “we” I mean all of us here at this apartment building where I live, which is adapted for disabled elders.  Our friend’s name was Carol. She had a stroke . . . and Yes! she was droll and irreverent but also thoughtful and generous. I am largely bound to my apartment and often to my bed, but Carol would pop in for a little chin-wag and would bring me some of her fabulous minestrone. Pre-COVID-19 when we still had Thursday Coffee Klatch, Carol would stake out comfy chairs for us both and hold mine until I arrived. Since Thursday Coffee Klatch was held on my floor, I only had to travel a few feet to attend. It was doable.

The hardest thing about growing old is not aging. It’s not the proximity of one’s own death. It’s the unremitting loss of relatives, neighbors and friends. One day you wake up to find so many are gone.


Jamie Dedes:

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7 Comments

  1. “The hardest thing about growing old is not aging. It’s not the proximity of one’s own death. It’s the unremitting loss of relatives, neighbours and friends. One day you wake up to find so many are gone.”

    Yes, I was thinking about that this very afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘meeting with pleasure,parting with pain’ a very difficult time when one is faced with the loss of a dear loving friend, Jamie Ji your poem is beautiful and comforting. May you be blessed with peace and comfort , profound courage to bear the loss amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even when, nay perhaps especially when regular friends leave us, it hits hard. Perhaps it is particularly resonant now that we are faced with a daily toll of departing souls. This is a truly lovely elegy, Jamie. I love many of the phrases you’ve used.

    Like

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