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  • Writer's pictureLeni Robson

A conversation with the best friend on the occasion of his 38th birthday

in which we learn that our beloved heroine may have many names and why she will never again drink Sambuca.

*may contain strong language as he loved to swear. Our heroine of course never does such a thing.

‘Happy Birthday’

‘Thanks Sel. I’m not calling you Leni, it’s weird, you are Sel. Good of you to remember. First time ever isn’t it?’.

‘No. I remembered your 18th and your 30th. And your 21st

‘You did not remember my 21st’.

‘I remembered it before it happened. It’s just the actual event that’s a bit hazy’

‘That will be the tequila. Or the sambuca. How long did you lose? 5 hours wasn’t it?’

Moving on. Our mothers will be reading this.

‘You only remembered the others because I was with you. Other then those without fail you got my birthday wrong’

Yes well you aren’t on Facebook. Facebook tells me when peoples birthdays are.

‘I’m on Twitter’

Well you’re a twit I’ll give you that….I’m rubbish at Twitter

‘So what are you doing to mark my birthday the first one ever you have remembered spontaneously. Why are you sat in Hyde Park’

Because it reminds me of you.

‘Oh. Why?’

Because it’s a big vacant space as well

‘Oh haha your funny’

Thanks. I like to think so. Well, we had some good times here didn’t we. At Proms. It reminds me of you. I feel close to you here. I have never laughed so much as I did here.

‘Oh Sel. That’s so sweet’.

I meant at you.

‘Piss off’.

Look I’m drinking pink fizz.

Oh we used to drink that. I used to buy you a bottle every year for your birthday. I never forgot’.

‘I know. You are a better person than me. That’s why I’m drinking it.’

‘Those champagne glasses are nice. They were clearly chosen by someone intelligent and with sophistication’.

‘Not really. You bought them for me for my 21st.’

‘As I said. Sophistication and intelligence. Why are you crying. You look all snotty and you’re in public. Are you drunk already. You used to cry when you were drunk in Hyde Park.

‘Cos I miss you.’

Oh you daft tart’.

‘Thanks. I miss you slightly less’

What are you doing next. I mean in life. I don’t need details of your journey home.’

‘Oh you’ll love this. I’m setting up a charity’.

‘Tarts with a heart.'


‘Boob reduction for the overly endowed’

‘No Shut up. ... we will sit around and talk about death and funerals’.

‘That’s cheery’

‘No really it is. And how to plan funerals that are a little outside the box’.

‘Don’t they have to be in a box isn’t that the point.’

‘And people can decorate their box..coffin.’

‘Are they in the box at this point.’

Shut up. They are out of the box…coffin and painting it. It’s called a Coffin Club UK. Mines called Coffin Club Derby cos I’m in Derby.

‘Oh clever that. I always knew you were smart. Must have taken you ages to come up with that’

‘Yes well we can’t all be doctors’


‘Surgeons. Anyway I have lots of support’

‘I told you it was about your chest’

‘Not that kind of support – supported by Coffin Club UK. Their patron is Miriam Margoyles’.

‘Oh I loved her she called a c…’

‘James! Mothers reading this. Oh and I’m going to actually start being a GRS.’

‘A what? That sounds like something you should take tablets for. ‘

‘I’m a certified Grief Recovery Specialist’

You're certifiable I’ll give you that’

‘A Grief Recovery Specialist is some one who guides people through Grief Recovery Method. It’s to help people who have suffered a loss. Any loss. People who are grieving. It’s to give them the tools to carry on, so they can look back on the memories they have without feeling pain.’

‘You’re a counsellor’.

‘No. I’m not. I’m a heart with ears’

‘You’re a chest with ears. And given the size of your chest….’

‘Shut up. A heart with ears.’

Oh Sel. You might be quite good at that’

‘Well when I told you in September you said I would be.’

Yes but I might have been drunk’.

‘And what are you now’.

You know what I am. Your grieving me. That’s why you’re having a conversation in your head with your dead best friend. Have you GRMd me? ‘

‘Might have done.’

‘You have. If you hadn’t you’d probably not be writing this. I suppose that means you are over me and I will be forgotten now.’

‘Oh do stop sulking. As if I could ever forget you. What it means is I have the tools to look back on our times together with happiness and that stabbing pain, that hurt that was there that stopped me looking back because I couldn’t look forward, has gone. I’ve said all I had to say, which means I can just sit and talk to you normally now.’

‘Normally…except for the fact I’m….’

‘Yes. Normally except for the fact that your…dead….’

‘Totally normal’

‘Anyway I figured if I told people about Coffin Club Derby and becoming a Grief Recovery Specialist today, then it would be a memory on my FB and…..’

‘You wouldn’t forget my birthday’.


‘Told you you were smart’

‘You know I was going to write a sappy blog all about how wonderful you were, and how I missed you, how you were the beat of my heart, and how you could have changed the world. I was going to waffle on for hours about how the Coffin Club and the GRS stuff was all in honour of you and how whilst I might not be able to change the world like you could doing your doctor’

I was a surgeon’

‘Surgeon stuff, I could do my little bit.’

‘Why didn’t you. I like the sound of all that stuff about me being brilliant. I was in the Times you know’.

‘I prefer to be honest’

‘Ha. Why were we friends?’

‘Because I loved you. And you loved me apparently.’

‘Yeah…… Daft tart’

If you need help with the pain of your loss, through death, through divorce or the end of a long relationship, if you want to find out more about the Grief Recovery Method please go to my page Leni Robson, Grief Recovery Specialist.

For more details on Coffin Club Derby go to Coffin Club Derby.

For more information on my funny brilliant barmy friend James, ask me, I’m happy to hear his name and talk about him at any time. He was an ace doctor (Surgeon)


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