Words Can Scar, Maim & Murder

Confession: I always tear up at that scene…always.

Maybe it is because I have had the privilege to have the kind of friendships that people write, want and dream about. Maybe it is because I also know the pain of losing one of those friends.

Friendship is a big deal to me, always has been. Flip through the pages here and you will find more than a few posts in which I talk about it. Some of those posts are my reflections on what it means to bury a friend and some are about conversations I have had with my children about friendship.

There posts are among the most well trafficked and most popular here. Maybe it is because they touch upon something that we can all relate to and or understand.

I suppose if someone were to ask for help in understanding who I am I might point them towards those because they have meaning that is useful personally and professionally.

What Kind Of Friends Did Robin Williams Have?

Robin Williams was one of my favorite actors and comedians. His death is tragic and the sun will shine a little less brightly with his loss.

Since the news broke the Internet has been filled with clips and quotes of, about and from him. One in particular has been getting a lot of play. It is a quote from a character he played in a movie  World’s Greatest Dad.  

Lance Clayton: I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.

People keep sharing it because it is heartbreaking and I suspect more than a few of us have been in positions in which we can relate to it, be they brief or long.

I have been thinking about it because it reminded me of something that happened to me several years ago. A dear friend of mine told me that someone else described me as “sucking the life out of the room.”

I won’t lie and say it didn’t hurt me because here I am years later wondering who said it about me and why they didn’t talk to me because if I ever felt that way about a good friend I’d want to go talk to them. I’d want to find out what was bothering them.

I’d want to ask if they were hurting. I’d want to ask if they were angry, sad or upset and try to figure out if I could do something to help them.

There might not be anything that could be done. They might not be willing to change or to help themselves but maybe they would. Either way I would know I had been the kind of friend I want my children to be.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not indicting Robin Williams’ friends or saying they were bad because I don’t know. I am just relating a personal experience and wondering out loud about it. It is entirely possible he never shared anything that would have alerted those friends to what he intended to do.

Words Can Scar, Maim & Murder

A good friend called me from Israel. He checked in to let me know he and his family are ok. We shared some stories and laughed hard about all sorts of things.

He asked me how I got such a thick skin and said he wished he could say anything to anyone and not care what they think. I shared the story above and said my skin isn’t always as thick as some people might think. We promised to always be willing to check in and be honest with each other.

I appreciate that but I am not surprised after more than 30 years and more than a few adventures our friendship is deep.

Most of the time I don’t think about or wonder who said those other words but every now and then they creep up and I just shake my head.

I shake it because I want one thing for my children and for me. I want the sort of friendships I see in that video clip. Whenever the end of our days come I want to say we lived both the breadth and depth of life and I want our friends to hear/say something like below.

Spock: I have been and always shall be your friend.

If we can do that, well we will have done something with our lives.

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