The Power of Friendship

This photo was taken on my 40th birthday.  A day my girlfriends honored me.  I’ll never forget it.

This photo was taken on my 40th birthday. A day my girlfriends honored me. I’ll never forget it.

I attended a funeral this past weekend honoring the life of a woman named Betsy. She is the mother of a dear friend of mine. I knew it would be sad, as funerals always are. What I didn’t know is how powerful it would be. I left energized with a feeling of optimism, and the urge to not only tell the people in my life how much I love them, but to cherish my beloved friendships. Everyone at the funeral was handed a gift- a gentle reminder that in the end of our lives- kindness, love, and friendship prevail.

Betsy lived her entire life in a way that every single person she met felt connected to her. She had nine people eulogize her, (NINE!) and I have a feeling that list could’ve be been a lot longer too. Each person thought of her as their best friend. One of the people who spoke toward’s the end of the service was President Bill Clinton. (Crazy, right?) Hilary Clinton and Betsy were childhood best friends, and their friendship only grew through every stage of their life. At the end of President Clinton’s eulogy he said, ‘I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this. Every person in this room feels better now than they did when they walked in this room.’ And it couldn’t be more true. Even at her own funeral, Betsy had a way of making an impact on people. Now THAT is a life well lived.

It made me think about my friendships, and how I cherish each of them and what the common threads in each of these friendships are. I realized it’s vulnerability, showing up, and of course laughter. I am lucky to have a few best friends who do this for me. My kids will ask, ‘Mom, who is your best friend?’ And, I feel grateful to have a handful of friendships in my life that I can consider more than one person my best friend.

Vulnerability is key. When we can let our guard down and just be ourselves is when the ‘real’ happens. It’s when we can talk with out the fear of being judged, say what’s on our mind, and in our hearts. It’s to these people we can tell our deepest secrets, failures, and our fears. My dearest friends have seen me at my worst, and they still love me unconditionally.

These women show up for me. They are ALWAYS there when I need them, and I only hope I do the same for them. The beautiful part of these friendships is always picking up where we left off. We can cut through the small talk and always get right to the point. My best friends always have a way of saying the thing that makes me feel better.

Laughter is the key to everything right? The medicine. When we can laugh at ourselves and each other, it’s what makes everything okay in the world. I laugh the hardest with my friends.

The service I attended on Saturday was a little nudge. A reminder to slow down, and remember what’s important in life. Because in the end, friendship is everything. So, I want to try and be a damn good friend to my people.