I have seen the Friends series, all 10 seasons, so many times through. I can’t even put an exact number on it because it is so many.
I first started watching Friends when I was in college, and from then on, it just became a comfort for me.
My husband used to travel for work a lot, so I would always keep it on during the evenings, and I would fall asleep with it on. Even though he wasn’t at home while watching friends, I didn’t feel so alone with it on.
During maternity leave, it was all I watched on a cycle throughout each day. You know how they say sleep when the baby sleeps? I couldn’t. Instead, I found comfort in watching friends as I navigated through such uncharted territory.
When the pandemic started, and everybody was hunkered down at home, we would watch friends periodically, and my husband told me that he had never seen the series all the way through. It was a no-brainer. He immediately ordered the full set on DVDs, and we watched every single episode together. It didn’t matter that I had already seen the series a million times. I absolutely enjoyed looking for his face when I knew something “big” was coming up next.
When I transitioned into working from home 100%, instead of listening to music throughout the day, I would just turn on friends in the background – I still do. Even now, who cares that I’ve seen all of the episodes so many times I can’t even count. I just feel so comforted by the show.
As has well been reported by now, you know that the amazing actor, Matthew Perry, has passed away.
Of course, he has been in a lot of great shows and movies, but most everyone, including myself remembers him as our beloved, funny, sarcastic, deeply loving, Chandler Bing, in Friends.
Apart from Friends, and his other acting engagements, so many people also know about his struggles with alcohol, drugs, and addiction. When I heard that he had tragically passed away, I immediately thought about how he was reportedly found alone. And, I think about all of the struggles that he has encountered in his life, when he must’ve felt so alone, and how he had to pull himself from the depths of darkness so many times.
I think about how he must’ve felt so alone during those dark times in his life, but he made sure to not let everyone else feel so alone.
Isn’t that a remarkable quality to have in a friend? Someone who gives selflessly in spite of, and at times, even during their struggles?
The parallels in Chandler‘s character and Matthew’s life are remarkable. Yes, they both used humor and distractions to cover the pain. But, they both deeply cared for others and doled out smiles and laughs when needed most.
Watching Friends so often throughout the years, I really do feel like I’ve lost a friend. I have cried a lot over his passing. It’s a strange feeling, and it feels a little funny to admit that out loud, because I didn’t know him personally, and so many people didn’t – but, isn’t it amazing the impact that somebody can have on the life that you lead? That you can be left with a comfort that envelops you like a warm blanket?
Have you ever thought about the impact that you have created, or that you are creating upon others? What if we all showed a little bit more love and care? Just allow yourself to sit in a moment of reflection on this. I know I have been.
I will continue to watch friends. That remains unchanged. But it will definitely be very different now, because even though I see Chandler on the screen, I know that Matthew is not here in real life.
However, his legacy of caring for others, and pulling people out of darkness will definitely live on forever.
The next time a friend asks me to get coffee, I might just hesitate for a moment to evoke my in Chandler and sarcastically say, “Sure. Where?”