Friendship and Loss

I have not written about P before.

That is partly because I’m not confident that my words can do him justice.

But it’s also because loss can do funny things to people. It can make you claim a closeness that others don’t recognise, as you grapple with your own emotions and try to make sense of them.

I don’t want to do that.

There are others who knew P better than I did, so I’ve waited, because I didn’t want to speak on their behalf.

But he was my friend too, and now the time feels right.

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Raise a glass to those we’ve loved and lost

A group of my old school friends ran the Edinburgh marathon today, in memory of a friend of ours – Peter – who lost his life in a car accident just over a year ago.

They were raising money for Riding for the Disabled, an excellent cause, and if you can spare a couple of quid I know they would be thrilled with any additional donations.

I still haven’t quite found the right words to talk about how much I miss my friend. He was one of those rare people who you could go months without speaking to, and then pick up right where you left off, without a hint of awkwardness. He was a sweet and gentle person, with a wonderful laugh and a wicked sense of humour. He sent lovely chatty, handwritten letters. He would regularly leave me rambling, drunken, voicemails at 3am after he’d been out on a Friday night. He was probably the kindest person I’ve known in my life. I think of his family every day, and can’t imagine how hard the last year must have been for them.

Peter was a guest at our wedding – and gave us a gift of the two beautiful wine glasses in the picture above. We don’t use them often, but every so often it feels right to take them out and drink a toast to him. I imagine that tonight will be one of those nights.

I know I won’t be the only one who has lost a friend far too early in life. There is no way to make sense of these things, not much we can do but find our own ways to remember and honour. I could never have run the marathon, but I am so proud of those that did, especially his brother.  I hope tonight that they are sitting and chatting about all the wonderful times they had with Peter, and that they will join me in raising a glass to his memory.