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Think of your Oldest Friend

May 29, 2023

Leah from Couple Health here with a fun thought exercise -- Who are your long term friends?


 List their names followed by the number of years of friendship shared, and add it up. See this as an ongoing project, and watch the numbers rise as you age. Now add new friends to your list as well as those who have passed away. Maybe you still chat with them sometimes. I know I do...


Greg was one of my gay brothers-from-another-mother. He’s the one who introduced me to my son’s father, and I was there to comfort him as he held his dear, dying partner, John. I see his beaming smile and raised wine glass in his photo from our trip to Savannah, Georgia -- I have always prioritized having portraits of friends -- I see his eyes twinkle and think of how he would have confronted me for sweating the small stuff. 

We were like kids again then, as we explored Savannah in the impossibly warm breezes -- we strolled past majestic mansions and later went dancing, together but not together. We cruised the floor bopping to electronic music, his favorite. Now and then we reunited on the dance floor, and then off we went to play alone again.

He’s gone now, and of course I miss him. The last time I added up my list, I felt the embrace of many years of friendship, affection and love. Looking at my list reminds me that I am supported, I am loved, I have years of happy memories waiting to be revisited. 

I am blessed -- not everyone is this wealthy in warm friendships and fond memories -- but this list-building exercise is a simple yet effective form of emotional self-care that almost anyone can do. 

It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day woes and worries. Don’t forget to pause every now and then to appreciate the people and relationships and moments that make up your life.


Leah Valian


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