My first is my most loyal friend; she is a locked in carer suffering as her mother smiles and can no longer swallow: my next, recently bereaved; my longest known is coming to terms with the prognosis just delivered – she has Alzheimer’s and 2-5 years to live; my youngest friend, an incurable cancer; my most recent is very old and very lonely.
Friends from my late teens include one currently adjusting to living with a newly uploaded pacemaker, one post-stroke symptoms, one dialysis, another depression and we are also all bereaved and sad – two of our friends died in 2020.
Friends from my writing group are variously bereaved, recovering from treatment, suffering from being in a different country from families who also have lists like mine or home schooling and on the gin.
Some are looking at home repossessions, redundant and terrified.
Extended family and friends have Covid – or are isolating, worrying and watching the news.
When someone says, ‘phone a friend’ it’s a tough call.