The loss of a friend is one of the most painful experiences I have dealt with in my life, even more than my divorce.
I think it has been more painful because of the unknown of what happened in our lives to make this friendship fall by the way side and now totally dissolve.
At least with my divorce I know why our marriage failed and have come to terms with those issues many years ago and after years of therapy, tears and falling back on my faith I was able to move on and be a better person because of it.
A little background on the friend I have lost. We have known each other since I has 16 and she was 15. We worked together for more than 5 years during our high-school years. She was a part of my wedding and was blessed to have her at my special day. We were inseparable for years, even when I went away for college in Duluth. She would come and visit and when I came home we would always hang out. I was really close to her mom and that is also a relationship I miss greatly.
Some where things when array and we stopped communicating, seeing each other, even though not as much as when we were younger we still made time for each other.
I have reached out to her via emails and letters asking what happened to our friendship. Was it something I did, said or didn't say. I racked my brain to try to figure out what it was that happened to make this long term friendship just disappear in a puff of smoke. I never received a response from her.
Her brother passed away this past January and I again reached out to her via a card and letters and still no response. I told her my feelings on the passing of her brother and how I missed and loved her.
I had planned on going to the funeral taking my son as support but decided on the day of the funeral to not attend. I didn't want to be in a place that I was not wanted nor did I want it to be awkward for her, her family or myself. I said a prayer for her, sister, and her mom to help them get through the passing of their brother/son.
The fear I had, and the fear we have as women, is that we’ll be judged for being brokenhearted over an ended friendship. How do you tell the other friends that a central friendship in your life is over without being gossipy? How do you process the hurt and pain without seeming overly invested and needy?
The ripping apart felt the way a sheet looks when it is torn in two. Shredded. Loud. Sudden. Jagged.
1. Give your sadness a safe space. Don’t skip over the sadness — give yourself permission to mourn the loss for an appropriate amount of time. Let it have its say, but don’t let it be your boss because hope always gets the last word.
2. Don’t assume there’s something wrong with you. When a friendship or other relationship changes, it’s easy to look inward and think What did I do wrong? Instead look upward and assume that for now, God simply wants your attention elsewhere. Trust Jesus with your reputation as well as this situation.
3. Believe God continues to give His best to you. This includes people who are best for you.
4. Pray God’s best for your friend. Whatever the particulars behind the relationship change, let’s represent Jesus well by letting the situation bring out the best in us, not the worst.
5. Fervently thank God for the vibrant relationships you do have. Even if it’s just one friend, and that friend moved five states away. Or that friend is preoccupied with a new baby or is busy with a new job. Thank God for who is present at your table and in your life.
It takes strength and courage to hold our relationships in upturned palms instead of squeezed in our tight fists. To say you are welcome to stay here, but I won’t bolt you inside. Some seasons call for bravery in the form of staying close. Other times, a season calls for bravery in the form of keeping our distance. In those moments, may we continue to give ourselves a little attention by enjoying the good things — and good people — around us.
I am a woman who does not have a multitude of friends. I can count my friends on one hand. These would be the friends I count on to lift me up, confide in, for support, for encouragement and to be honest with me in all aspects of my life and theirs. These are the friends that hurt my heart if they are hurt or sick. Not all these friends live near me or do we see each other daily like back in the day when your bestie was at your house all the time. I form deep connections with people through mutual likes and dislikes, respect, love, faith, being able to confide in them and honesty.
I do have fringe friends, the ones met in college, at work or through others. They are wonderful people but I don't share my life with these people nor do I feel the same connection in my heart when it comes to these friends.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"
Friendship in its rarest, most powerful form is built day by day on a foundation of vulnerability and grace. It’s bonded tight from the gritty, the glorious, and the garden-variety moments that come with honest conversations and hearts that refuse to label or judge.
I still think about her a lot in my daily life. Little things I see or hear will remind me of her and either brings a smile to my face or sadness. I am on the path to putting those good memories in a safe place in my heart and letting go of the sadness. I wish her well always.