"We've got to stop meeting like this"... a line that's felt far too rehearsed than I'm comfortable with.

I'm not accustomed to writing anything connected to negative connotations, but something happened that awoke a more profound message that I need to get off my chest. Today I lost a childhood friend, and I'm finding it difficult to process.

Just when I thought I had life somewhat figured out, I'm reminded that just about anything can alter that perception. Just today I was shocked by the news of my friend's passing and rushed home to change, shave and hustle over to the funeral home before visitation hours expired. It's the irony of rushing, for me.

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Upon arrival, my eyes instantly found a few familiar tear-stained faces. Their smiles struggled to emerge from the heartache. It was a class reunion I wasn't prepared for, yet here we are.

"We've got to stop meeting like this." There was that line again echoing through my skull like a broken record.

I understand that people get busy and I'm just as guilty, but where's the fine line where we convince ourselves the importance of family and friendship over a paycheck? It's a revolving scenario similar to the circle of life but on a more morbid scale:

  1. Someone we know and love dies.
  2. We're reunited with old familiar faces we haven't seen in quite some time.
  3. Loose plans are made to grab a coffee or a bite to eat.
  4. Those plans fail because our busy lives intercept.
  5. We fall out of touch once again and years melt away.
  6. Step one repeats itself and runs its course.

One of the toughest parts of losing friends is the significance of our social identity. The loss of a friend can lead to feelings of disorientation and confusion about who we are without them. In other words- the internal question "Why not me?" will often resound, making us more acutely aware of our own mortality, which can be uncomfortable and unsettling.

A late great pastor once told me that "only death gives life meaning. Knowing our limited time should infuse every moment, every breath, with purpose". I felt that today more than I have in the past.

I'm not sure when funerals became class reunions, but it's quite the desolate place to reunite. Can we please change this trend?

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