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Ask Virginia Ironside - My dying friends

Blog | By Virginia Ironside | Jul 04, 2023

My dying friends


I have been attending reunions of my university year every five years and am a member of a WhatsApp group. We are all in our late seventies; so there are more and more gaps in the ranks. Another reunion is being talked about, but I have mixed feelings. I used to enjoy them, but I don’t relish the prospect of a toast to absent friends who now outnumber the survivors. I am healthy enough to go, but I don’t want to spend the evening talking about deaths and illnesses of old friends whom I remember in the flower of their youth. Is it better to stop reunions by agreement or just let them fade away? Should I force myself to go?

Name and address supplied


Why don’t you fudge it? You could say you’re going and then, at the last minute, develop a ‘bad cold’. It’ll be five years before the next reunion and by then (a) it may not happen, (b) you may have changed your mind and long to see old friends, or (c) you may be one of the ‘absent friends’ to whom they all raise a toast.