Making - And Losing - Friends

Katie Young
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Wednesday - January 09, 2008

“Some friends come and go like a season. Others are arranged in our lives for good reason.” -Sharita Gadison

I lost a good friend last year - not to a sudden accident or a long illness, just to the changes of life. And just like any other loss, I feel as though I am in mourning.

Remember in high school when friends were “best friends forever”? That’s when forever seemed like an attainable goal, before the reality of life is really apparent.

And the reality of life is that things change. Friends come and friends go. It’s inevitable. As much as we would like to think that every friend is forever, that likely isn’t the case.

Life is a journey, right? And along that journey we go through changes about who we are and what we want to do. We might move out of state, change jobs, get married, have kids - all these things alter our friendships as well.

Or you might not have the same interests anymore or your priorities become different.

It’s not that you dislike your friend, but the changes you go through in your own life focus your energies elsewhere.

There are friends whom you most certainly will have forever. But those are rare. More often than not, a friend might be yours for a duration of time - a moment or an experience in your life.

Losing some friends to the changes of life is tolerable. You wish them well, still think of them from time to time and if you ever see each other again, you can pick up right where you left off. It’s a mutual parting, an easing away from each other.

But some friends are ripped from you before you are ready. Their path has taken them in another direction before you are emotionally prepared to let them go.

This is the truth of the friendship I lost last year. I miss my friend dearly. I tried desperately to hold on to her. I tried to call, I tried to write but received no reply. She was too consumed with the new things in her life.

So I am left speculating why our friendship had to end when it did. I have wondered for months how this path could have taken a different turn. But in the end, the only thing I can do is accept that my friend is gone from my life.

(I’d like to add “for now,” because you never know what may happen down the road and a friend can return to you suddenly, years from now, a new and better friend than before.)

I’ve had friends who have drifted away for more than a decade before we found a way to connect with each other again. It’s never the same, but it evolves into a different kind of special bond.

The good thing is that with any loss, comes a renewal. The same holds true for friendships.

While my friend is gone and the unique bond we had will never be duplicated, new friends will come into my life that will be equally as special.

Sometimes we think that the older we get, the less likely it is to meet and create deep and meaningful new friendships - like all the friends we were meant to have were given to us in lump sum between the ages of 5 and 25 and that’s all we get.

At least this is the sentiment that several female friends of mine have expressed.

I find that the older I get, the pickier I become with choosing new friends. I’m looking for quality, not quantity.

Just last year I met a wonderful new friend, right as my old friend was fading from my life.

This new friend and I could be twins as far as I’m concerned. We bonded quickly and share many similarities in our lives and in our beliefs. I have already turned to her on several occasions for a shoulder on which to to cry and a sympathetic ear.

Of course, because my new friend is so wonderful, I hope that ours will be a friendship that will last forever. So far we’ve managed to keep it going, even though she lives across the Pacific Ocean.

In the end, the truth about friendships is that some will come and go, some will remain, but no matter where your path in life takes you, every friend you meet along your journey will always be a part of you.

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