To Absent Friends

When a stand of trees are cut down, they are absent. When a stone wall falls, it is absent. There is a hole where once they were. Not quite like a death, but close.

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of meeting with my two cousins. They are my closest living relatives. It turned out we had never been together in the same place before. One had been absent when two had met. But, for all that, it didn’t seem odd or strange to be all together. We fell into easy reminiscing about our respective parents. Now all dead.

Talking on we realized that there were most likely absent/unknown relatives aplenty. In Canada. And in America too. I now sit and imagine a stand of relatives. And friends. Not dead, just a hole where they might be. Unknowing of one another.

Absent/unknown relatives. Lost touch with. Gone away to a new life. Perhaps absent animal friends too. Ones that just got lost. Ran away. Went away. Never came back.

Here’s to absent friends. And relatives too.

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3 thoughts on “To Absent Friends”

  1. I wonder about naming next of kin. How much say might they have in my life – or, perhaps more likely, death? Is blood connection really that important when friends are closer & know better what I would wish?

  2. Thank you for this, Reverend Mugo. So very ‘to the point’ for me during my visit (nearly over now) to my late sister’s US house. It has been difficult and sad, but also I have been very struck both by her absence and her presence. I reflect that people (and indeed everything else too of course) live for us largely in our minds. The time that we are actually physically together is very small. So relationship is often mostly an idea rather than direct experience, and I find that my sister is still very vividly here for me, the more so when I am in her own environment with so many memories. What is lost (like the stand of felled trees) is any possibility of any more direct contact, and any future experience. But because she is in my body/mind, particularly perhaps because of the shared genes, it feels as if she is still part of me and my life. I’m guessing that this grasping after her may also be what causes the sadness of grieving. Work to be done somehow on letting this go now, finding ways to keep the memories but trying perhaps to loosen the attachment? All work in progress of course!

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