July 30, 2018


Lifelong friendship has a beauty all its own (Matthew Syed, 10/16/17, Times of London)

The two most precious friendships of my life came to a tragically premature end. Mark, who was my best friend since nursery, with whom I shared so much, and who was regarded by my parents as a third son, died in 2008 from cancer.

Tony, who I got to know in my thirties after moving to Richmond, also became like a brother. We spoke every day, met four or five times a week, and went on holiday together. We shared our problems and celebrated each other's successes. He died of a heart attack a few months before he was due to be best man at my wedding in 2011.

As the anniversary of Mark's death comes around again this week, I have found myself reflecting rather a lot upon the beauty of friendship. That devotion to people with whom you share no genes or romantic attachment, but who are so deeply entwined in your life, your hopes, your identity that it is almost impossible to imagine life without them.

People with whom you share the most magical moments, but who are also there when you are on the floor and need help. People whose love is expressed not just in kindness, but in the rebukes they issue when you act like a fool. People whose intimacy becomes so habitual that their dreams become yours, and yours theirs.

Tony and Mark were so precious that, all these years on, I experience their absence like two missing limbs. Thomas Aquinas, I think, put it best: "There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship."

Posted by at July 30, 2018 4:19 AM