A number of friends I have made over the past years here in Quincy said that after their parents died they looked around at their social circle and concluded that life was too short to squander it on people who were not “best friend” material. Prior to their parents’ death, their friendships resembled dating – having a full dance card, as it were. But once their parents were gone, these respondents became much more particular in their choice of friends. Several said that they had terminated friendships with people they’d known since childhood, people whose pretensions or bigotries they could no longer stomach in the name of sentimentality. Others said they had rekindled friendships with people they hadn’t seen in years, it was as if they were getting back to basics; it wasn’t the number of friends that mattered but, rather, the quality.”
Once you’re aware of that, without being cruel or feeling guilt-ridden, you can begin to let go of relationships that no longer nourish your most faithful self.
The grief you are experiencing now offers you the opportunity to reexamine your existing friendships to ensure that your network of social connections is truly favorable to you and for you. While it may be hard to let go of people who are not supportive or who are clearly lopsided with the path of growth you are on, just as reaching out to long-lost friends from the past, it can be a necessary part of healing after loss.
When we lose someone dear to us, it causes us to re-think the question, who am I, what do I want to become, who do I want to hang with. It’s ok to begin anew, death gives us many chances to start over again.
In my grief ministry, helping others as they hurt and struggle to re-find themselves, I have noticed that so much growth has taken place even in my own personal life by making new friends in our Quincy Good Grief Supper Club.
Each of us have learned that over a meal we can heal much healthier, quicker, it’s relaxing, and we become more vulnerable sitting around breaking bread, with good company is a great remedy for healing.
In the scripture’s, you see Jesus eating his way through the gospels, Jesus knew all too well that sitting around the table, facing each other was therapeutic.
God said: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 13 When you seek God who is all love, you will find the right people who will walk with you at any cost!
Who do I want to share my life with now?
Brother Ed Arambasich, OFM,
Quincy Fire and Police Chaplain