It's been a tough few days. My friend, Robyn, died, and there was visitation and the funeral to deal with. For years I've said that the funeral isn't for the deceased but rather for those left behind to deal and cope with the loss. An introduction to the new normal, if you will.
I hadn't seen Robyn in at least 4 years. Which means I hadn't seen a lot of our mutual friends in a similar amount of time. The upside (if it's fair to call it that) was the opportunity to reconnect with those people. To be reminded of what had made us friends in the first place, and to promise to do a better job of staying in touch.
It was lovely to be in that group again. We sat together at the funeral. We cried. We laughed. We even snarked a bit. But that is who we are.
Afterwards we went out for a farewell drink and meal in Robyn's memory. And once again we broke the mold on the librarian stereotype. When the waitress greeted us with "Are you having a good day?" we all looked around at each, and then laughed and said we'd just come from a funeral. Kudos to the waitress for taking it in stride. She brought us water and chips and salsa while we perused the menu. Drink orders were placed (2 for 1 on most drinks, but she couldn't get us to take her up on most of them) and then food orders. We talked. We laughed. We toasted Robyn. We told stories about her, and remembered her in our own fond ways.
And then we played catch-up with each other. I'm not the only one who doesn't work with those ladies anymore. There were kid and grandkid updates. Marriage updates. A bit of gossip here and there. And I was reminded again of what a boon a circle of women can be to a battered soul and spirit.
After a couple of hours, we scattered our separate ways, not recovered from the loss, but lifted up by the companionship and the realization that life goes on. None of us will forget the impact Robyn had on this group. Instead we will raise a glass to her at every opportunity we have to share with each other in the future. Because that's what real friendships are all about.
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