The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Remembering A Friend

I’ve been debating for the past 5 days whether to write this or not. It’s close to Christmas and not the best time to share a sad story. But I do believe that we do not always consciously choose what to write about. There are moments in our life that just beg to be shared.
The fact is, that many years ago, when I was seventeen, I lost a friend in a traffic accident. He was just eighteen. There is much that I have forgotten about that day but some details are still extraordinarily clear. It was a cold and wet night when the accident happened and the wind ripped through the island, uprooting centuries-old trees and leaving a trail of damage in its path. It was a time when news travelled slowly, much more slowly. I only got to know about it the next morning. I remember the surreal feeling in the air at school; groups of friends huddled together in shocked silence. Tears fell freely. Gone were the teenage swagger and bravado. All around me were stricken, incredulous looks.  In one day we went from being careless, carefree teenagers to suddenly being confronted by our own mortality; our vulnerability. Death had claimed one of us and we were powerless. With that came the sobering realization that it could have been any one of us. Life offered no guarantees.
It would be an over-simplification to say that we grew up that day. We didn’t. But life had dealt us a blow and taught us a bitter lesson. That was twenty-five years ago. We have moved on. There is grey in our hair now and laughter lines around our eyes. We have loved. We have lost. We have had our fair measure of success and of failure. But I like to think that we each carry the memory of our friend in our hearts. It’s been many long years, a quarter of a century is a long time, and time has blurred so much. There are countless things about my friend that I cannot remember – like his height, the timbre of his voice, the exact colour of his eyes. But I do remember one thing - his warm smile; and perhaps, after all these years, it is what matters most. I think it is what the majority of us remember and, knowing him, I know it is a legacy of which he would be proud.
USA 2013 569

11 comments:

  1. I lost my cousin, Bannon, last year to a motorcycle accident. We were of the same age and we were childhood friends. It's still hurts, and there are times I'd suddenly pause and remember him, but that's how people live forever - we remember them, we cherish their memories especially the good ones.

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  2. This is such a beautiful tribute, Loree. Thank you for sharing it. I also lost a friend in high school to an accident and it marked me strongly but also kept me on track as a reminder to appreciate what I had...

    And I agree we don't always choose what we write. I am glad that you didn't censor yourself.

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  3. I am sorry for your loss, Loree - the emotion you feel is clear even after all these years. Thank you for sharing this loving and beautiful tribute.

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  4. Dear Loree - when someone dies young we are so affected. We lost a brother at twenty-four and our lives were changed forever - so I understand completely your thoughts and feelings. Time does heal but there are places in the heart that long for those we have loved and lost. I like to think they were spared from much of the pain that goes with living. Take care friend.

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  5. you write so well; i could feel every word.

    when we were 12 one of the girls from our neighborhood died of a traffic accident too. so suddenly. we were just playing one summer day, the next day she was gone.

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  6. Dying so young is terrible. A friend of my son was 25 when he died in a motorbike accident. It also happened years ago, but these are events you can never forget !

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  7. Beautiful,nice to know he has not left you!I agree you write so eloquently!

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  8. it is a lovely remembrance...

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  9. I am so glad that I popped in to read this, Loree.

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  10. A beautiful tribute, Loree. Thank you for sharing. My oldest son is now driving and I worry tremendously about accidents. xoxo, B

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  11. Oh Loree, despite the passing of so many years, I am sorry for your loss. Death is the one certainty of life and perhaps the only thing that really shakes the foundation of who we are and why we are here. Your reflection is a beautiful one and there is much to be learned. I guess life is simply about love and that love transcends even death xx

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