My best friend, for 56 years, is being buried today. We grew up together, and literally never lost that childhood friendship. We talked the evening before he died last week, planning a visit as soon as my surgery and recovery was over.
The next morning, I got a call early from his cell, didn’t think anything about it, until I heard his wife’s voice saying he’d died about an hour earlier…
He and his wife have been there for me through thick and thin, a divorce, career decisions, and the random phone calls for years.
And I can’t be there for them…
That truly hurts, because it’s only five hours away, but recovering from my surgery, there is simply no way I can do it…
So in their time of need, I’m failing them, and it’s not, to me, a trivial thing. I know, and know you will say it’s not my fault, and I get that. But it’s a personal thing for me. I have a lot of acquaintances, but very few ‘true’ friends that I would do anything for, and they would do anything for me. He and his family fall into that category.
The family knows my situation, and were actually concerned about how ‘I’ was doing, more than what they were going through. They’ve got the situation handled, with friends and LEOs, who are reaching out to support them, as he’s a retired LEO, so on that aspect, I know the funeral and other things will get done expeditiously, and correctly.
It’s the moral support, and the quiet decisions that will have to be made that are the real concern. We’re not 21 anymore, and we know that. The kids are doing all they can, but as always, there are things that will need to be done that they can’t/won’t be involved in, such as disposing of property and collectables that their dad has, that are worth real money to the right collectors.
There is a whole subculture that loves nothing more than making money off families in situations like this. We had actually talked about this a while ago, with reference to a mutual friend’s wife who basically got robbed out of tens of thousands of dollars worth of handguns and old rifles.
None of us are rich, and with his death, there isn’t much left for the wife to live on, nor is her health the best. So I plan to do what I can to help them out. But to do that, I need to get there, before they start making uninformed decisions. I’m not going to say I’m an expert, nor particularly skilled in doing this, but I DO know how to reach out to people who are honest and will deal fairly with then.
Am I trying to assuage some guilt? Probably… I look around at the folks here who are supporting me now, keeping my morale up, keeping me fed with good home cooked soups, taking time out of their days and lives to help me.
And I can’t help a lifelong friend’s family in time of need.
Sorry for the rant, but I need to get that off my chest. I’ll be back in battery next week, one way or the other, I’ll get started doing what I need to do to help them. They were there for me, the least I can try to do is to be there for them.