I have the best friends1. Several of them call me daily, biweekly, weekly, just to let me know they are thinking of me, ready to hear what I need to say--or just to sit in silence with me, if that is what I need.
2. They have planned and organized what will be a beautiful memorial service and kick-ass party (I hope) to honor my husband. Many of them are coming long distances on brief trips during a hectic time to console me, and to celebrate him.
3. They are not afraid of my sorrow; nor do they try to rush me through it or "get me over it."
4. They feed me.
5. They give me real, virtual, and long-distance hugs.
6. They miss my husband like I do--if perhaps not quite as much--and they tell me they loved him. They confirm my sense that he was, in a quiet and undemonstrative way, magnificent.
7. They are gifted writers whose words soothe, comfort, and amuse me. One sent me a card offering to "sit with you in the darkness, if that is what you need, or to move with you toward the light." That is beautiful, and speaks of true, irreplaceable friendship.
8. See (7), but some are also drop-dead funny. One of my dearest friends, who is also a damn fine writer, sent me a lovely personal email in reply to my "Crabby Widow" post. In addition to her own poignant thoughts on grief, she said this:
I give you permission (since I am the queen of the universe) to feel pain, to feel empty, lost, anesthetized, alone, broken, sad, sometimes hopeful--all of it. So tell the advocates of drive-through McGrief to leave you alone.