New Friends, Old Friends

15 years ago, near the beginning of what has become one of my oldest and sweetest friendships, a 12-year old Enling wrote in my autograph book “New friends are silver, old friends are gold.” (I wonder if we’re still gold, and when we’ll be approaching platinum? :P)

Of course, all old friends were once new friends. And not all new friends stay to become old friends. But new and old, friends have been an extremely significant element in my life. Whether it is soul-baring sharing, or just having some simple laughs together, I have shared so much of my life with so many friends over the years, and have been deeply enriched by such sharing in return.

I am always touched by those unexpected moments when a friend generously gives me a glimpse into his or her heart. I am always humbled and grateful for such generosity, for the greatest gift we offer one another is the gift of self. And one of the most wonderful things is when we recognize each other as brother and sister in life, and for a moment let that recognition transcend the fearful defences we have erected.

To all my friends in Singapore and in Toronto, you guys have made me truly wealthy. For the laughs we’ve shared, as well as the tears we’ve caused each other to shed, I am infinitely grateful. Whether near or far, and whether we’re frequently in touch with each other or not, you are all my companions in life’s journey. I think of you guys a lot more than I tell you, and when I do, I always make a heartfelt wish that you are well.

You know that saying, “it’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all”? Well, I think where there has been genuine love, no matter how fleeting or seemingly insubstantial, a part of that person and that relationship will live on forever in you. Having said that, the stories of friendship in our lives continue to be written until the day we die, and maybe even beyond… for as someone very loving and wise once said, “death ends a life, not a relationship“.

Have a lovely Christmas break, and to all those vacationing, have a jolly good time! *BIG HUG*


  1. Hi ann, can u elaborate on this “death ends a life, not a relationship“? How does one continue to have a relationship w someone who’s dead?

  2. That’s a quote from Tuesdays With Morrie actually. If you’re interested in getting the full meaning (the way Morrie meant it), you may want to read the quote in its proper context.

    The way I meant it is linked to what I wrote – that a part of that person and that relationship will live on forever in those who are still living. Just because someone dies, he/she doesn’t stop being a friend, parent, or loved one. And the seeds sown by that relationship (both good and bad) can still grow and have effect on the lives of those who remain. Those who die do not just live on in others’ memories… they live on through the fruits of love from the seeds sown when they were still alive.

    And for Christians, there are even more ways of understanding that quote. We believe that death is not the end, but the doorway to new life. And we believe in the Communion of Saints – i.e. that God’s family extends through time to include all who had lived in the past, who live in the present, and in the future; and all those in Heaven and on earth. We believe we can pray for the souls of those who have passed, and that those who are now with God pray for us who are still on earth. The nature of the relationship may have changed in some very fundamental ways (without getting into the theological aspects of it), but there certainly still is one!

    I didn’t think about it in such detail when I wrote that post… that had a more intuitive root. But thanks for asking. Now you’ve given me more food for thought!

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