A friend from school, living in Kochi, reached out to me last week and conveyed the unfortunate news of one of our friend’s husband’s untimely death in Mumbai. After the year that 2020 was, this was an unwelcome start to 2021. Our friend (I want to call her Hope) is just 39 years old, a mother of two girls aged 3 and 5 years, The sheer tragedy and despair of losing her man of only 40 rendered her inconsolable.
I had this compelling need to reach out to her. The awkward part was that I hadn’t met Hope in 25 years, the last time being the farewell of Class 10. A time of bereavement was not the best time for a reunion. But then I also thought, what better time to be there for Hope.
I managed to get Hope’s address from a couple of people and reached her row house gate today. I identified the home by the star that hung over the gate. Christmas had just passed a fortnight ago, and the star is spiritually significant to me.
I was ushered in. When I finally saw Hope, I wish I could actually express the joy ( and not sadness) that I saw in her eyes. It was unbelievable how we embraced in silence for several minutes while people around just looked on. We talked about school, and I also spent time with her chatty little girls (who were taking it all so well). Giving in to tears only once, Hope managed to talk about her life. This time was the best spent time of my life. Before I left, I implored Hope to stay in touch.
I may not have met Hope for 25 years and hung around with her like conventional friends. But according to me, to leave her with hope for tomorrow was the best-kept promise of friendship I could have ever offered. For hope is a wonderful thing. For hope is a star on a dark night.
Just being there with someone when they need you can make such a huge difference to them and to you.