November 28th, 2011
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Music By: Elton John     Lyrics By: Bernie Taupin

I hope the day will be a lighter highway
For friends are found on every road
Can you ever think of any better way
For the lost and weary travellers to go
Making friends for the world to see
Let the people know you got what you need
With a friend at hand you will see the light
If your friends are there then everything’s all right
It seems to me a crime that we should age
These fragile times should never slip us by
A time you never can or shall erase
As friends together watch their childhood fly

Having a network of good and true friends is invaluable when you are trying to develop resilience to life’s traumas.

Your friends may not have experienced the loss of a spouse, a child, or a near and dear loved one and it might be hard for them to understand the depth of your grief.  But, more importantly, your friends are probably sticking to your side whether they get it or not.  That says a lot about them and it says a lot about you.

To be fair, sometimes it’s hard even for you to know the depth of your grief and how you are going to feel from one minute to the next.  Don’t toss your friends under the bus because they can’t read your mind.

Life will slowly get better because close connections with other people relieves stress and boosts your immunity.  There is a direct health benefit to having friends, says Blair Justice, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Texas in Houston.  You are a happier person when you have friends.  People who live isolated lives — without hugs, handshakes or other physical contact — are just as likely to develop heart disease as those people who smoke, eat high-fat diets and don’t exercise, according to Justice.

Just being with people who love us and care about us sends a message that we are still connected to a community of  friendships, a community of humanity.  I am sure your friends are trying their best to be sympathetic and support you even if it doesn’t seem they know what to do or say.  For sure they know that their friend is hurting and they want to make it better for you.  Hang in there.

To manage your grief, it’s important to regularly discuss what’s going on in your life with your friends or family members.  It’s not always going to make sense to them but it’s important to acknowledge that it’s not logical; it’s just how you feel right now.  The give and take of trying to problem solve with others will help you feel stronger and may allow you to give your mind a rest from constantly thinking about the future.

So pick up the phone today and call or text a friend.  Your heart will thank you!
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