Sunday, March 5, 2023


Richard Brookhiser, on the passing of friends:
When someone you have known for decades dies, so does that part of your own life. Gone are the occasions that only you two remembered, the punch lines that no one else now understands. ....

The fragility of friendship, like its value, is a product of adulthood. When we are kids our friends are who we know — the cohort of pint-sized neighbors and schoolmates. Looking back, you realize you did not even like some of them, but there they were, for dodgeball and duck duck goose, kids’ birthday parties and mandatory classroom exchanges of valentines. Everyone had to get one. I remember kid-size cards and/or chewable colored hearts imprinted with tiny messages. What do kids exchange now? DMs?

With age comes individuality and choice. ....

...[F]riendships can fade before friends do. Then the death of the friend annihilates even the fantasy that things might revert at last. It also highlights the wasted years that might not have gone to waste, if only.... Did we judge too quickly, not go the extra mile? Or were we wise because the person we had once picked and who picked us no longer existed, and the extra miles would have been endless? ....
Richard Brookhiser, "On Difficult Goodbyes," National Review, March 2, 2023.

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