On the other hand it seems as though four (yes, four!) of my friends, some of whom I counted amongst my closest, but not neccesarily the oldest, have said goodbye... or by their silence are saying goodbye. If so, it was good and I have not a single regret. I strive to live with an open hand, my palm raised upwards, never closed, never shut, never tight - never consciously controlling or manipulating the reins. Thus the palm of my hand is as open - as they walk off it - as when they walked on to it. It will be an open, welcoming palm should they decide to return. At least there's no more smoke and mirrors.
It is not an act of faith to believe that as surely as the sun sets, it will rise again?