Last night I went with my husband to a gathering of friends to pay respect to the recent death of a friend. She had been a musical artist 30 years ago in a life they all shared back in their youth. Her passing was tragic and unforeseen.

Friendships are funny. Even though many of the people there would consider themselves good friends - and thought very well of her - they hadn't seen her in 20 years.

I have friends like that. People I shared a lot with at one time or another, but through the years our lives have taken different paths and now we don't see each other or really don't have anything except memories in common.

They are still my friends. I would mourn at their passing. Perhaps not as much as with people I am actively involved with, but still - it would be a loss. Friendships - old, new, active, inactive - are precious.

I think a round of note writing (yes, the old fashioned kind with pen, ink and stamps) is in order.