The circle shrinks. As the years pass, older people attend too many funerals. Friendships that sustained them for decades lapse when companions and confidants retire or move away or grow ill.
These days Sylvia Frank, who moved into an independent living residence in Lower Manhattan in 2014, can email or call one longtime friend in Florida. Another, in Queens, is slipping into dementia and will most likely exclaim, “I haven’t spoken to you in months!” when, in fact, they talked the day before.