There Are No New Old Friends – Part 2
No Futile Laments
Over the hour-and-a-half or so that my friend and I spent together after his prognosis, we didn’t talk about death at all. We didn’t need to. We both knew what inevitable. We both knew what the doctors have said about his spreading cancer.
I don’t know what there might have been to say about death anyway. Voicing futile laments is no way to fill harshly, starkly precious time.
But for four minutes, maybe five, we did skirt close to voicing the looming future. We skirted close enough to make going any further unnecessary. It was communication by shared common knowledge, by understanding and by experience. Communication by shared history. He and I, we have a lot of shared history.
Even as our talk teetered near to the future we said nothing negative. And no, I don’t think it was surface positivity, a veneer of bravery. Resignation stalked us both, but so did realism.
There was unspoken but palpable and all too real regret for a curtailed future. There was an unspoken but unflinching sadness at what we both knew will never happen. We had the solace of knowing our pasts have been largely good. And we knew that that solace was just that – no more, no less. Finding solace undoes nothing. But there was nothing to discuss about his death.