the dying is easier to take

One of us near life's mid-point, the other near its end, Miss Sue and I had an unusual conversation last week. Her lifelong best friend just moved to Arizona, and Sue's socially decimated. She described their relationship at length, especially its irreplacability and the big hole left in her life now. I asked why the friend left Spokane. "Her kid lives in Arizona," Sue shrugged. "And he wanted his mom near him."

She picked at her salad a bit. "That's what it's like when you're old, you know. All your friends move away. Or die. The dying is easier to take than the moving away."

The parallel was obvious. "Is that the geriatric version of all your friends having kids and disappearing?" I asked.

"Yeah. It's exactly the same feeling."

Great. Something to look forward to.

Sue pressed on. "And there's a middle stage. When the grandkids come along, they all disappear again."

"Jesus Christ. Any other cheery nuggets to share?"

"Yeah. Just go ahead and make new friends. These aren't coming back."