March 10, 2017 You’ve Got to Have Friends

Years ago, I imagined what death was like. Not that I was looking for it—I just imagined that I knew.

My conception was based on an Our Town/Carousel like idea of death, where everyone’s really there in spirit, checking everything out, seeing what you’re doing, but you can’t see them and they can’t speak to you.

I think I conjured this up when I first went to Israel, and was all alone in a skeevy hotel, waiting to be transported to the kibbutz the next day, but couldn’t sleep and had no one to talk to. I felt so completely cut off from my family and friends back home—well, I couldn’t talk to them, so they didn’t exist. (This was of course, way before the ubiquity of cell phones, apps, and other ways of connections—this was actually prior to the invention of the morse code!)

Without being able to connect,  I felt like I had died.

Since then I’ve imagined death that way—that I have all these things to share, to talk about, to laugh about, and I can’t. I’m floating around with all these “profound” insights and no way to share them.

Which is probably one of the reasons that I so cherish my friends and the connections I have with them.  I am so grateful that when school is just a piece of shit on a stick, when the bureaucracy and ineptitude wrap around you like a group of octopus with their suction cup covered tentacles, I can call Howie to complain. And not only will he understand, his words of wisdom, which I may not totally agree with, affords a different perspective. When fundraising for a documentary looks like a fool’s exercise, I can call Claire and she can regale me with her own stories of reduced funding, incorrigible colleagues and fighting with windmills. And when I can’t believe how totally screwed up this world has become under Herr Drumpf, our so-called President, I can call my oldest and dearest friend Cory, and we can commiserate and compare notes on the resistance.

It seems like a no-brainer that we should all be grateful for our friends. Hopefully we tell them how much they mean to us—if not every day, then at least more than once in a while. But I also think when your parents have passed on, you appreciate friends in a totally different, maybe deeper way. I know I do.

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  1. Dear Debra- you are a lioness for justice and a gift to us all.
    So glad I know you. As always, love to you.

  2. Dear Debra- you are a lioness for justice and a gift to us all.
    So glad I know you. As always, love to you.

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