Debbie’s friend Tony died. He was younger than me and had been friends with Debbie for over 20 years .
He told his truth. The truth is ugly. Not gentle and often hard to hear. Debbie heard and she stayed. She saw past the conflict, his pain of living and struggles and saw him fully. Whole. In turn, he saw her. It was a unique bond but a strong one.
Months, possibly even years, of no contact yet the underlying connection was one of knowing. Knowing that they saw each other. Neither of them were easily fooled.
She called him out when other friends may have let behaviour, words or pain interrupt the friendship. She stayed- logical; supportive and honest .
They seemed to get each other wordlessly. I watched their last interaction behind hospital masks. Standing behind Debbie I watched Tony’s response to her. It was clear. Tired, almost speechless but honest. She got that. She knew. He knew she did.
Sometimes the best connections are without speech. Even when faced with the grim truth of a fatal end. The thanks expressed through a look in the eyes. The wordless acknowledgement of being a witness like no other. The future unimportant. In that momentarily connection, everything was said, felt and received without it getting gushy and pretty. Nor was it ugly.
It was beautiful. It was love.