by Bob Dees
John Donne, a sixteeth century English poet who was well acquainted with grief, suffering, and resilience; penned these famous words “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…” While there is a strong human tendency to isolate when we are in pain, the healthy spiritual and emotional response to trauma is to draw close to family and friends. In Resilience God Style we refer to “911 Friends” — relationships who will be hugging you (physically or virtually) within seconds after you have a “body slam.” These are not Facebook friends, rather the small circle of friends who you trust with every issue and confidence of life… ultimately those who will be in the front row at your funeral, or serve as your pallbearers.
We don’t develop “911 Friends” overnight — it takes time to develop these deep relationships of trust, confidence, and comfort; but it is essential to resilient living. In recognition of this importance of FRIENDSHIP, I have put together a short video from one of my 911 friends, Jim Johnson. The context is Jim’s recovery from trauma and his eventual comfort to others after his son Matt took his own life on the day he was to graduate from college. I have spliced together some key elements from Jim’s story which illustrate important dimensions of the FRIENDSHIP which we all need in our lives.
Without further introduction, here is Jim Johnson: