Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.

Yesterday, 16/2/23 an old (new) friend was laid to rest. Mark Davies Markham (please see my previous post Dear Mark).

Sadly, I watched his touching funeral via a video link from my hospital bed. It was a tuff watch especially hearing from his son, Tom, talking so heartrendingly about his dad and obvious, close friend. I hope Tom was able to say those beautiful words to his dad during their time together.

I love hate funerals, I hate the finality and love the opportunity.

To not be present at your own funeral is so cruel. For those who are present who get to meet people, often relations, who you haven’t seen for some time, to reminisce, reflect (together) on a ‘life’ a person, someone you care about is sad but also a privilege that can offer merciful, desperately welcome, closure.

There is magic in the moment when you realize you’ve found a friend like no other. I reconnected with Mark after a fifty-year absence. Our, unlikely, rekindled friendship was instant and mutual, a powerful connection. I hate the fact that he has gone. Mark will have hated the fact he was dying. He had a zest for life, something we both shared.

A friendship (platonic) relationship is one with no romantic or sexual features, but it means more than “just friends.” According to the ancient philosopher Plato, for whom the concept is named, this bond is a type of love experienced when we identify positive qualities, we feel complete us, within another person? We ‘get’ each other.

I could (can) make friends easily. When I was (very) young, growing, up I had several best friends. My mom was ill and I found welcome solace within a close friendship circle from an early age. This included my mates but also their siblings and even their parents to a certain extent. I could, and did, hang out with one friend substantially more than any other for periods, Mark, Jeff, Jimmy. I formed those deep connections early on in my childhood that were maintained, in some cases (Jeff) into, and throughout, my adult life.

By approaching friendships by casting a wide net, as I grew older, I made more close friends, more quality bonds that I am now (still) privileged to have. I invested in friendships, some came and went but others, have firmly stuck. Apparently, research has shown it takes 200 hours to establish a close friendship!

Platonic (close) friendships have  been proven to improve emotional stability and lead to a longer life. However, these friendships are often the first thing to be put on the back burner when life gets stressful. According to journalist Lydia Dentworth, “Science has clarified the definition of a quality relationship”.

Deep Friendship

It has to have these minimum three things: It’s a stable, longstanding bond; it’s positive; and it’s cooperative—it’s helpful, reciprocal, I’m there for you, you’re there for me.” Note the lack of specificity when it comes to type of relationship; both platonic and romantic relationships can fulfil this definition. 

My longest friendship, with my oldest friend, Jeff, has changed during our sixty years. Actually, it hasn’t changed, we have. We are very different people now from who we were aged three to five when we met, aged 18 when we were inseparable, aged 40 when we had totally independent, different lives, families?

Aged sixty-four, our (love) friendship is still as powerful as ever. We might not have as many of the same things in common as we used to, but we have more than enough to maintain our bond. We can literally talk to each other about ‘anything’. We would literally do anything for each other.

My ‘plato-friends’ are those within my inner circle. I am privilege to have a good handful of them. More than most I believe. They are the people I trust the most, and the ones I know care about me for who I am.

Friendship (platonic) love is real. A love you grow for someone who compliments you. A state of enduring affection, esteem, (intimacy), and trust between two people. In all cultures, friendships are important relationships throughout a person’s life span.

Friendship is priceless.

Thanks for Reading


Published by Riff

Husband to my inspirational, (long suffering,) wife Gail, father to two, amazing (adult) children, Aubrey & Perri, teacher, former guitarist. When I started this blog I quickly became granda(r) to my beautiful, first grandson Henderson. Grandparenting, something I was relishing but had began to believe I would not get to experience. I now have three incredible grandsons, Henderson, Fennec and just days ago Nate. I Love people. I love my family, my incredible friends, I have love(d) what I do (my Job), I love Music, Glastonbury Festival, Cars, Everton .... I love many things but, most of all, I fucking love life.

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