My wise friend, S.F., once summed up friendship like this: some friends enter your life for a season, some for a reason, and some for a lifetime. Of course, she stated it much more eloquently, but you get the idea. I agree with her philosophy. But I was naive enough to believe that friendships moved through phases, always moving forward. If a friends was still around after a season, well, there must be a reason. And if the friend was still around when that reason was gone, well, then they solidified their position as a lifetime friend. No changebacks. No do overs. No backsliding.
But that's not true. I'm losing one of my forever friends. She came in the summer 15 years ago (season), pulled me through one of the darkest times of my life (reason), and was still there years later. And now, for whatever reason, she's leaving and I'm in mourning. I blame life more than anyone or anything, although that doesn't make my friend's absence any easier to accept. Stretches of awkward silence have replaced giggle-filled phone conversations.Our get-togethers have become fewer and farther between; more often than not, someone cancels at the last minute. One-page e-mails have dwindled to one line messages.
Over the past year, I have ridden the emotional roller coaster that people experience when they lose a loved one: shock, anger, denial, frustration, confusion and sadness. Now I just feel "done." There is nowhere left to go with this friendship.
I wish my friend well. I will always be thankful she was in my life, and I will always hold the memories we made together in my heart. But it's only just a past that remains.*
*From "Toast to the Lifelong Friends" by Duotang