attributes of a good friend
they feel like home
they are honest with you
they remind you of your power
they support you in your healing
they have a revitalizing presence
they hold a vision of your success
they support you in new adventures
they lift you up with joy and laughter
they bring out the best version of you
This was Ashley. So many people miss her because she was the best at being a good friend. And she saw potential friendship in everyone she met. Not because they would do something for her or that she would get something out of that friendship. Honestly, I feel she always left people with more than she ever took.
I’ve written many blogs about my relationship with Ashley. I think people are drawn to the blogs not only because of what they represent of Ashley and I but because of what it reminds them of Ashley as a person, as a friend, and who she was to them.
As Yung Pueblo so beautifully describes as attributes of a good friend, Ashley was all of those. Which made her a great friend. You could be worried about a new job or move and she would know exactly what to say. You could be full of self-doubt and insecurity and she can make you feel ten feet tall. You could be down and she would know how to lift you up, you could be tired and worn out just sitting on a couch and she would just hold space with you… Until she got bored then she would tell a joke, make a face, or fart to get you laughing which would make her laugh even more and then her nostrils would flair and she would be full dragon nose laugh!
We miss that. We miss her. We feel that we can’t be the best version of ourselves without her. We let the pain of grief change us. We stop seeing what Ashley saw in us.
“If you could see yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you, you would never again doubt how important, how worthy, and how needed you really are.” – Brianna West
Ashley had that ability. The ability to show you how she saw you. It was authentic and genuine. She knew how to connect with people. Being connected to others is the best way to go through life and Ashley mastered that.
Ashley was someone extraordinary. Her genuine and authentic self was funny, caring, beautiful inside and out, had a strong faith, loving and honest…brutally honest.
We miss that connection and have trouble finding that in others. That really isn’t fair to the people in our lives or that we encounter.
We may never meet another person like Ashley. But thing is, Ashley let YOU know that there was no one else like YOU. And she appreciated your uniqueness.
So we may never find another Ashley, but what we can do is be “that person” to the people in our life. You start this by being “a good friend,” and build those connections.
I need to admit I have failed at that. Since losing Ashley and especially through the COVID era, I’ve struggled with a lot. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve hurt people…
I’ve felt lost without Ashley. Not all the time. But grief does that. Leaves you lost, angry, apathetic, exhausted…
Using Ashley as inspiration, my goals for 2022 are to build stronger connections, address my failings, fight my demons, strengthen my faith, develop a closer relationship with God and be the best version of myself.
Those aren’t specific goals. So I will be working on that. But for building stronger connections I’m going to work on being a better friend by:
feel like home to those in need
remind people of their power
support others in their healing
have a revitalizing presence
hold a vision of other’s success with them
be supportive in their new adventures
lift others up with joy and laughter
and try bring out the best version of others
I don’t think that is realistic to do for everyone like Ashley did, but we can start by being that for the people in our family, inner circle, or close knit group. Then, like Ashley, reach out to someone new, some one we don’t know. Then maybe we can be the friend they need, like the friend we needed and received in Ashley.
Ashley, you are so loved and missed. I thank God for giving me the time I did have with you. I am most grateful for being blessed with Fischer and Baker. They radiate your love, personality, and joy for life.
These past three years have been hard but I am so grateful for the people in my life who have helped me and the boys, without them I would be lost.