It’s not intentional, well, not always, anyway. Life changes; it takes you along different paths. Interests change. People grow apart. Find new jobs, new lovers and move on to something or somewhere far away. But sometimes, people just choose to be different and their old relationships don’t fit who they become.
No matter how they try to fit their treasured, long-loved friend into their new them, they just don’t fit. Like a mistakenly chosen piece in a jigsaw puzzle, they turn and flip and press hard with no success.
But how does one lose a friend? Once the reality is discovered and accepted, how does one go about it?
Is it best to let it just fade away? Should one look away as it drifts like a boat loose from its mooring caught in the outgoing tide; pretending not to notice as it grows ever smaller on the horizon? Is it kinder to allow the friendship to lose its energy slowly without the discomfort of that final conversation and the ultimate goodbye? Or does that pay disrespect to what had gone before?
If there was at one time, respect, love and a bond that mattered, can one just walk away without so much as a eulogy or some sort of a final ritual, perhaps a simple toast to days gone by? Important questions, I feel, but am I the only one who has pondered such things?
People lose friends all the time. I wonder if they ever give any thought to how they should. Or did they just look back one day and realize that person was gone and feel a simple sorrow because they never said goodbye?
It is mostly likely not a sorrow of missing their company or a regret that they will no longer be a part of their life, for when a friendship is lost it's usually meant to be. Friendships that are intended to remain, do. They are guarded and tended like a garden to enjoy in the future. They are not left to their own, to run dry from inattention. They are cared for and nurtured.
But not all friendships are meant to last forever. Some are indeed best let go. Of that, I am certain.
My question, the burning thought of the day, is how best to do it; for friendships come and go, and how we lose them matters.
Fran Braga Meininger lives in Northern California and writes non-fiction and personal narrative, specifically about the years beyond youth. She strives to inspire and stimulate conversation among women discovering what comes next. Her work has been featured in magazines, guest blogs and in a soon to be published anthology entitled "Finding Light in Unexpected Places", as well as her blog page, theyearsbeyondyouth.com
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