Proverbs 18:24 says:
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
I am here to tell you this is true. There are friends who will stick closer than any family. Ty and I have been blessed beyond all reason with fantastic friends and neighbors. I have never in my life felt the kind of love I have felt over the last few weeks. I didn’t know it was possible on Earth. However, there is the flip side. I was discussing this with a friend the other day. Now the thing about this friend is I have only known her for a few months on Facebook and this was the first time we have ever met face-to-face. But, she has stuck closer to me than many of my so-called friends who have been friends for decades. She suffered the loss of a child 24 years ago and told me that she lost friends after that. Another friend recently lost her father and has lost friends during that process. Since our conversation TLC’s “What About Your Friends?” keeps playing in a loop in my head. Times of deep grief, of great loss will test your friendships. People aren’t comfortable facing death. People aren’t comfortable facing mourning. People aren’t comfortable dealing with people who can’t be Shiny Happy People.
People who I have known for decades have barely acknowledged Shayna’s passing. They’ve made perfunctory gestures of sympathy, but what has been amazing is people I barely know, people I’ve never met in some instances have stuck closer to me than a brother. I had a guy fly in from Atlanta for Shayna’s service. His “momma” has even friended me on Facebook and checks in on me regularly. I had never met the guy before. Another friend who I had never met drove four hours to attend Shayna’s service and to be there for me. A true friend is the one who is there for you when times are hard and now I know who my true friends are. The others, well, I have a problem with clinging to people and things. It might be time to just let some people go.
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