True friendships are lasting because true love is eternal. A friendship in which heart speaks to heart is a gift from God, and no gift that comes from God is temporary or occasional. All that comes from God participates in God’s eternal life. Love between people, when given by God, is stronger than death. In this sense, true friendships continue beyond the boundary of death. When you have loved deeply that love can grow even stronger after the death of the person you love. This is the core message of Jesus.
When Jesus died, the disciples’ friendship with him did not diminish. On the contrary, it grew. This is what the sending of the Spirit was all about. The Spirit of Jesus made Jesus’ friendship with his disciples everlasting, stronger, and more intimate than before his death. That is what Paul experienced when he said, “It is no longer I, but Christ living in me” (Galatians 2:20).
You have to trust that every true friendship has no end, that a communion of saints exists among all those, living and dead, who have truly loved God and one another. You know from experience how real this is. Those you have loved deeply and who have died live on in you, not just as memories but as real presences.
Dare to love and be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as to those whom God has given you to love.