Requiem for a friend

Requiem for a friendLegendary film star Marlene Dietrich once said, “It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”

Phil was that kind of friend.

Any time of the day or night, he’d be there. He was there during life’s bleakest moments — through devastating illness, the end of my first marriage. And he shared the joy of important milestones–two weddings, the birth of my son, law school graduation, the launch of a new business. He was generous, dependable, and unfailingly kind. He was also a tough pragmatist who wasn’t afraid to give honest advice. And he was one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, a skilled storyteller whose jokes would leave me doubled over with helpless laughter, slapping my knees and gasping for breath.

Somehow, over the last few years, we got together less frequently. Work and family bring their own demands, and friendship went on hold. And his own life took a dark detour, leading him to places that those who loved him could not follow.

But almost three decades of friendship exert a powerful pull. Over the last few months I thought of him often and resolved to call him–always tomorrow, always tomorrow.

But I waited too long.

Last Friday I got the call. Three words changed everything: “Phil is dead.”

So please don’t wait until tomorrow to say, “I’m sorry”.

Or “Thanks for everything.”

Or “I love you.”

Unless you want to say those words, as I did last night, in a eulogy for a departed friend.

8 responses to “Requiem for a friend

  1. Diane,What a moving post and I’m so sorry to learn of the loss of your friend. Thanks for giving us all a powerful reminder of the need to act on the connections we care about.Warmly,Tammy

  2. Hey my friend, I’m thinking of you

  3. Gosh Diane, I am so sorry to hear about Phil. Are you OK, my friend? Please take care of yourself and lets talk soon. ashok

  4. Chris Annunziata

    I’m very sorry for your loss, Diane.

  5. Robert Ambrogi

    There are so many people that I resolve to call … tomorrow. After reading this, I’ll call one today — maybe two.

  6. Dina Lynch,

    No doubt Phil cherished your friendship. I do, too. Sending you and your family wishes for strength, comfort and joyful remembrance.Warmly,Dina

  7. So sorry for your loss. You are so right that we need to embrace those we care about now, because life is fleeting and never predictable. My thoughts and prayers and with you.

  8. I am deeply moved by those of you who reached out to me, either by commenting here or sending email. This post about the loss of a friend evidently touched something deep in all of you. Thanks for your kind messages–they mean a great deal to me.Best wishes,Diane