Counselor's Corner: Sacred memory moments of friendship

By Fred Cavaiani

Last Saturday evening my wife and I had dinner with three of our most cherished friends. We have known each other for more than 40 years. I went to high school, college and graduate school with two of these friends which makes our friendship more than 50 years. All three of these friends were an integral part of our wedding 37 years ago. What a beautiful evening we had sharing and reminiscing with each other. We have met on a regular basis over many years. As we reminisced over all our gatherings tears came to our eyes. Some of our close friends have died and we know that others will not be with us much longer. We laughed over so many happy and funny memories. We got tears realizing that there may not be many more years for all of us to come together. We realize how many sacred memory moments we have had together.

For years we came together to share what little we had with each other when we were young, had small children and were establishing ourselves in our professions. We celebrated birthdays together, anniversaries, holidays and weddings of our children and friends. We have shared so many happy and supportive memories, weathered the storms of life together, and have shed tears of joy with each other. All of us have always been there for each other. Though there were only five of us at this meal, many more friends that we all mutually know could have been part of this gathering. This was a sacred evening. We were like the original five and have included many more in our gatherings over the years.

As the evening progressed and we sat in the middle of the restaurant around a circular table, one of our group stated: “there are many conversations going on in this restaurant but I think the most profound conversation is happening right here at our table. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” I think we all agreed with this statement.

Later, one of us started telling a story about a time in which he was deeply moved. He started crying. This is a man who is not accustomed to crying. Each of us, including him, was deeply moved by what was happening. I think he was simply expressing in his own way the closeness we have all experienced with each other over so many years. It was like an overflow of emotional connection that we probably just knew but seldom discussed. This emotional connection between all of us had just been accepted as a natural course of life. But tonight we were all realizing how powerful this was.

As we all left the restaurant there was a realization that this evening was a very sacred and special moment for all of us. These three hours of sacred memory moments brought all of us to a deeper appreciation and gratitude for each other. Something profound and sacred had just happened. We felt so very grateful for each other and our many years of friendship and sharing.

Every person has sacred memory moments of friendship. These sacred moments can be kept too quiet and seldom shared until a death occurs. Memory moments need to be expressed and shared and appreciated. They enrich our lives and help us to appreciate what we have experienced in our friendships. Each of us have people who mean so very much to us and in our journey through life each of these people have influenced us in a positive, loving way. They have given “soul” and “spirit” to our lives. Their friendship has deepened our lives in love. These are friendships with our spouse, our children, our relatives and of course with our close friends over the years. It is really a friendship with all those with whom we sincerely share our deepest thoughts and feelings, our values and ideals and dreams. We need to share this with each other.

All of us have these friends. It becomes important to deepen and share our sacred memory moments with each other. When we do this we treasure what is best about our lives and we find more strength to face the future struggles in our lives. Sacred memory moments give us an experience of the divine. It makes love active and present. I think all us experienced something that was deeply divine and filled with love last Saturday evening in a Rochester Hills restaurant where five not so young friends gathered for dinner.

Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at (248)362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his website is fredthecounselor.com.

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