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Missing Jean


I picked up the phone to share momentous news with my friend today.

A few days ago she was the first person I thought of  when I emerged from the first job interview  in …oh … 30 years. I knew she’d laugh and reassure me over my unpreparedness and my fashion faux-pas. She’d share the outrage over all the questions they didn’t ask and interrogate me on how I answered the ones they did.

Today she would have screeched with a mixture of horror and delight when she heard  I was becoming an employee after decades on the run as a freelance. But she’d “get” it; the security, the excitement, the trepidation, the adventure. She’d offer wisdom. And she’d throw a party to celebrate. The fizz would fly.

We shared laughter for years. Occasionally tears. Often shopping. News; always news. She partied at my wedding and ensured that I survived when the marriage crashed. She came to my mother’s funeral and my sons graduation parties. We holidayed in Spain and Sweden. And we made radio programmes together, although on one occasion we were so distracted by one another’s company (or was it the previous night’s gin?) we forget to load the recording equipment and had to drive miles to retrieve it.  There was fun.  Always food, drink and a bed when times were tough or tremendous. Unsuccessful matchmaking. The best of friendship. Legendary stories.

She wasn’t at the end of the phone today. And nor would she have been on any of the other times in the past month when I’ve reached to share a snippet or some nonsense.  Or check on grammar. There will be no Christmas carols round her piano this year, no Hogmanay get-together or walk on the beach at New Year. And I won’t hear her voice or her  laugh ever  again.

Life is different without Jean. I know she’d tell me – and everyone else who misses her – to get a grip. But we’re just a bit lost without her; our go-to friend who provided the sense and the sparkle.

And it will be a long time before I lose the urge to share.


17 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautiful words for your friend!

    May 3, 2016
  2. Like you, I had to walk away after the first reading. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I lost someone last year, too, and I know I will never stop missing her and thinking of the many things I wish I had said. My heart goes out to you – you are a good friend.

    January 8, 2016
  3. Sorry. The holidays make us feel our losses deeply.

    December 24, 2015
  4. Doug #

    So sad to hear of the loss of what was clearly a special friend we hope the memories will warm your heart on a cold winters night. Although we could not be further away we are always here if you need a friend.
    Love Doug and Pam

    December 21, 2015
    • Good to hear from you guys. Hope we’ll meet again before too long Nx

      December 21, 2015
  5. Dear Nancy, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Your friend was clearly a wonderful woman. Your very moving reflections are a beautiful thing to have given her. Take care. Scott xxx

    December 21, 2015
    • Scott, I’m thinking of you – relatively close, in Denmark – and hoping you’re having a ball. What an exciting adventure. Nx

      December 21, 2015
  6. Christmas is especially hard on us when we have to deal with the loss of a good friend or family member. I like to think they’re watching and approving.

    December 21, 2015
    • My father always raised a glass to “absent friends” at New Year Anneli. Even as a child I found it moving and that feeling just intensifies as I get older. Have a happy festive time x

      December 21, 2015
  7. So very sorry to read about your lose. This is always such a difficult time of year to be without those closest to us. Sounds like Jean was a special friend. Treasure all the times you did have. You were so blessed to have someone this special in your life:)

    December 21, 2015
  8. My heartfelt condolences reach out to you. A good friend is a treasure in our life. Hold all your memories that you shared together close to your heart.

    December 21, 2015
  9. Christmas is an especially hard time to miss someone. Perhaps you’ll hear Jean’s voice and laughter in your dreams.

    December 21, 2015
  10. hard to press ‘like’ for such a post, but beautifully written and I experienced the same one week ago so yes, it is the ‘never again’ which is the truth hard to grasp…

    December 21, 2015
  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a bright star. (hug).

    December 21, 2015
  12. You’ll always have the memories… Have a very Merry Christmas.

    December 20, 2015
  13. Pat #

    A beautiful memorial.

    December 20, 2015

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