Sometimes people don't realize how important other people and events play in their lives. This has been brought home to me more than ever during the past week when a very good friend of mine, died tragically. The incident has caused me to reflect on the nature of friendship. Although we where not best friends, it still made me stop and think about the friends that I do have. These friends, one in particular, has helped me considerably this past week. She was there when I needed her the most. I know too, that I have also been there for her. Together we have talked about meaningful relationships, and how to cope with our lost friend. I think, in discussing her, our own friendship has improved.

What I am lead to believe, from the incident is that friends are essential for growth, and to have one good friend, I am truly blessed. To me, a friend provides life with excitement, and warmth. They are a person I can trust and one who will speak kindly of me when I am not around. It is a person in whom I can confide my deepest secrets, and in whom I can share my joys and sorrows. Such a person can also make me laugh and in whose company I feel safe and secure. .

There are two stories that I can recall that best describe friendship. Asked how she succeeded in always making her guests feel welcome, a clever woman one replied, "Three words suffice. When they arrive, I say "At last." And when they are ready to depart I say "Already"?" Another story that I heard was an artist painting a portrait of a friend who he deeply loved. He mixed his colours carefully and took care to use the right tone in his painting. When it was finished, his friend examined it precisely and said, "You have painted my portrait far too beautiful for it to be true." "It isn't that at all" replied the artist. "I have only painted it with the love I have in my heart for you." To me, those two stories bring out the ideas that friendship goes beyond the physical and is something intuitive and sincere.