I happened upon this article about navigating the loss of a longtime friendship today, and parts of it really hit home for me. The author’s lost friendship looked different than mine, but loss is loss, and the feelings she described were very familiar to me.
I’ve been struggling to understand the loss of some friendships in my life, see-sawing between anger, disappointment, self-doubt, blame, and indifference. Most of the feelings have been so negative, and without true closure, I’ve been unable to move on and see any positives.
But I don’t like how that feels, so reading this article was refreshing, and gave a new perspective. I hope remembering the words the author shared will also be a tool to help me navigate through and past my own friendship losses.
The ending, in particular, will be helpful for me, I think.
…that’s exactly what it means to be an adult — it means accepting change without burning the thing that has changed to the ground. It means moving forward without trying to minimize what’s being left behind.
It means looking out at that horizon and bearing witness to the loss of a friendship without denying everything that was once beautiful about it.
I hope that someday I can look back on the lost friendships and be grateful, instead of feeling the horrible, ugly feelings I’ve been feeling. I want to file those feelings away for good. But before I’ve achieved that, I also hope to remember in the moments of weakness where I’m feeling hurt and angry that I don’t have to burn the friendship to the ground.
I admit, sometimes I am tempted to lash out and be vicious, to burn the friendship to the ground. The sudden “ghosting” without explanation is so uncomfortable and unclear, and I have nothing to latch on to in order to move on. Something inside me thinks that a violent ending would at least be an explainable ending – something I understand – instead of this strange nothingness. I have resisted that temptation so far, and I think after reading this article, I may be able to finally accept the nothingness of the end of these friendships and find peace in putting them behind me.