Saturday 2 October 2010

The importance of reconnecting with old friends, before it's too late.

This blog is primarily focused on how to be more positive and get the most out of life. Today however I'm going to talk about death. It's something that I've recently experienced in that one of my closest childhood friends passed away and we went through the painful emotional experience of burying him. It was incredibly sad and brought out a whole spectrum of feelings including anger, frustration, sorrow, sympathy and thankfulness.

Don't you just love embarrassing old school photos

Justin was a great friend. We were born 6 months apart and lived about 20 yards from each other. We spent a huge amount of time together growing up and eventually shared an apartment and house once we'd left home. We walked the Yorkshire Dales, worked part time in the same garage and had some of the best nights out ever. 

I don't think anyone had a bad word to say about him. He was a great listener and conversationalist. He had so much potential, he was intelligent, easy going and charming. His life ended well before it should have done and now he is gone many people will miss him. A life that is cut short like this really makes you how fragile and temporary our existence is. Any day could be our last and we should be making the most of each and every moment. And we should be making time for each other.

The funeral brought a group of old school friends together that hadn't met up for 13 years. What became apparent was that none of us had really spoken to Justin for quite a long time. Now we would never speak to him again. It really brought it home. When we were young, we were a tight group and had lots of crazy times and adventures. But recently we'd all drifted apart. Life had taken us in different directions and to different locations and if we are honest, we'd not really made the effort to stay in touch. Facebook had reconnected some of us, but Justin had drifted away from the group. We all felt pretty guilty about this, but there is absolutely nothing we can do now.

So it's a sad story, but that evening I went out with Peter, one of the old crew, and it was great reminiscing and catching up. In a world where, thanks to social networks and city living, we now have a large number of loose relationships, it's easy to forget to make time to maintain our deeper friendships. But we should, because we never know when those people who are very special to us won't be here anymore.

I'm personally going to make more of an effort now to make time to checkin with old friends. Today I'm going to drop an email to an old friend who used to play in the band with us. I believe he's still playing guitar and can't wait to see how his music has progressed.

Challenge: Spend 10 minutes today reconnecting with an old friend who you haven't spoken to for a few years. Use Facebook, Google or ask around your old contacts. Find their FB page, email address or phone number. Then call them or email them to see how they are getting on. Do it today, they will really appreciate it and you will too.

Thank you: thanks to everyone who has taken time to follow this journey, I really appreciate all your support, feedback and most of all friendship.


  1. Hi there - thanks for putting the link to this on my blog and it is nice to read it. I totally agree that connecting with old friends - ones that have known you for years, who know your family, remember how cool or uncool you were at school - is incredibly important. The sort of people you don't have to prove anything to and you don't have to explain why you feel how you feel.

    Sadly it is often moments of tragedy or sadness that make us realise what is most important in life. I'm very sorry about your friend but I'm happy to see that you have taken something positive from it.

    Can I subscribe to your blog by email (I'm old-fashioned, I don't get RSS)?

    Sasha @ The Happiness Project London

  2. Hey Sasha, great that you could visit the site and thanks for the very kind comment. You are so right.

    Yes you can subscribe for emails, there is a section on the left that says OTHER WAYS TO KEEP UPDATED and has a link to email subscription.

    The Facebook Like button is a good way to keep up to date with the smaller news items that aren't big enough for a specific post.

    All the best,