We lost my husband's Grandmother suddenly this week. This is a rose from the floral arrangement on her casket. It's been a trying a depressing week, but it has also been a week to think about family and prioritizing relationships.
Who comes first in your life?
I feel the hierarchy is thus: 1. Family and Spouse, because they are family now that they are married to you, 2. Significant others who are not married to you, 3. Friends, the closer the higher.
You will notice that I left out God or a higher power that you believe in. This is because I am not wanting to address this in this post. It should not be overlooked, however. God or whatever higher power has an omnipresence, or is everywhere, so automatically, whether you address your deity of choice or not, they are there in every aspect of your life.
Back to the hierarchy..
Never was it more obvious than in the seating arrangements at the funeral. Closest family sits up front. I know for some people the closest family might only be close in blood relation and not emotionally, however, they sit closest whether they cry for the deceased or not. Extended family are next, grandchildren, cousins, etc. Then friends and others are at the back. Sometimes a friend is as close as family and they earn a spot in the front rows.
Which got me thinking about friendship and how powerful it can be. You choose your friends. You don't choose your family. Friendship takes more work to stay close than family does. Family gets the front rows no matter what.
If you want to be able to call your friends family, then you have to spend time with them and be vulnerable with them. If you stop texting, calling, or hanging out together, then you lose status with your friend. You move them back a row or two in the seating arrangement. You might even put someone new ahead of them in the seating arrangement. How awkward is it for an old friend to see a new friend come and sit in front of them because they believe they are closer to you? How could this new friend know you better? Your old friend feels slighted and dejected. It happens all the time in life. This is why friendship is work.
I encourage you to hold your friends close this week. Text them. Call them. Spend time with them. Listen to them. Do what they want to do. Give them a gift. Be a good friend back to them. Let them know you care and you value them. If you want them in your front row, work at making them as close as family.