Over the past two or three days the Romanian press has been reporting about the death of one of their own, a journalist who was quite well known and apparently died in her house, alone (if we discount her doggies), two weeks ago. The cause of death is not yet known, and I’m not sure just how important it actually is at this point. What boggles the mind is the fact that a human being can be so alone in the world that for fourteen whole days nobody wonders why her phone is off, why she isn’t answering the door, or why she isn’t calling to wish anyone a happy new year. Online news sources are now publishing various statements from either fellow journalists or other celebrities, apparently grief stricken, describing how important the late CT was for them, what a special place she held in their heart, what a wonderful person she was. It was at this point that I felt ready to throw up. Is that for real? Is the hypocrisy of today’s world so pervasive that these people expect readers to believe what they’re saying in the light of the striking fact that for such a long time, and for probably a lot longer before, the existence of this poor soul interested absolutely no-one?

I was thinking this evening about what friendship actually means and whether or not I am a good friend to the people who graciously offer me this title. Because friendship is a privilege, an honor, not a right or a given. And most definitely not a word to parade around.

I feel blessed to have people in my life who are my friends, my chosen family. And these days I wonder whether I am the friend they need most of the days. For friendship is not a theory, it is not a click, a like or a post. It is, above all else, an act of love. When we truly befriend someone, we care. We reach out. Vulnerably so, taking the risk of maybe being rejected. We push ourselves in sometimes when things are dire. We get mad and get over it. We are there even if there’s nothing to be said. No advice to be given. Friends know. Birthdays, struggles, joys, face expressions, they know when you mean something and when you joke, they are there. For real.

Brene Brown describes spirituality as the inextricable connection to each other by a power that is greater than us and that is rooted in love and belonging. In a world of fires, fog and fights, friendship is our island of love and belonging.

If you feel that someone is your friend, reach out. At any cost. Call, text, go, until you actually connect. For real. I have yet to find a more precious gift.

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