One of Will’s closest friends died yesterday. It was sudden; on Monday night, he left a playful phone message for Will, teasing him about the new girl in his life, and on Tuesday morning, he had a heart attack. He was only 53.
Will is stunned. We never expect these kinds of things to happen. And, of course, he is very sad. He’d known his friend since they were both 17, and as two Australian boys who both ended up on the west coast of Canada, they became even closer. “I feel like I’ve lost a member of my family,” Will said to me earlier today.
I don’t know what to do, except to listen. It breaks my heart to hear such sadness in his voice. And though we should never have to lose friends so young, I think how fortunate Will was to have such a dear friend, a friend who had known him for more than half a lifetime and from half a world away, a friend who ended up living only a couple of hours away. No wonder they both valued the friendship so much.
A sudden death is a shocking reminder about the fragility of life. And it’s a reminder about the importance of keeping the first things first in our lives. The first things are the friendships and family relationships we nurture, the love we share with one another. They’re the things we need to focus on in our lives. They are the things that matter.