Friendship: A Slow, Painful Death…


The title of this post is in no way to suggest that friendship, itself, is a slow painful death. However, the end of a good friendship is one of the worst kinds of deaths: slow and so horribly painful.

Having spent so many years away from my family, most of that family rooted in the Boston area, I have gravitated to friendships to sustain me. Over the years, some friends have come to feel much more like family, our ties strong and deeply important in my life. As my husband and I have moved around– from medical school to residency, then to two different jobs in different states and completely opposite ends of the country, we’ve been even more isolated from family, and friendships have taken on more weight.  Friends have filled the seats at our holiday tables; they have been by my side as I took care of my mother; many of them have helped me work through my own depression, and find my way back to solid ground. I can’t imagine life without many of the people who have become so important, over time.  Until a friendship ends.

I’ve always thought friendships are much like love affairs. New friendships have a sparkly feel to them: it’s easy to feel giddy, when there seems to be so much potential in a new friend. The initial attraction and “courting” phase is much like falling in love. You like the same things; you agree about issues; perhaps you share a similar sense of humor; it feels like magic when you find those people in life. Much like dating, it’s a process, but that process can be so exciting. You get to know each other; you test the waters, and if you’re lucky, you find someone who really fits– and a friendship is born.

Image: 1200-blog.clarify.fm

Image: 1200-blog.clarify.fm

When I was younger, this process often went too quickly, and friendships bloomed and fizzled easily. In my youth, there was more drama, and the emotions were sometimes shallower; beginnings and endings didn’t feel as important. It’s not that I took friendship lightly… on the contrary. Things often felt super intense; but, then morphed and changed quickly. However, in youth things ebb and flow constantly, and friendships were a casualty of my inability to understand commitment and work. I didn’t understand then, the importance of good communication, or hard work– the idea that sometimes you have to push beyond hurt feelings or mistakes, and dig in, to sustain a relationship. No doubt, some of the friendships I’ve had since my childhood (one of my closest friends has been close to me since we were ten!) are the ones that I’ve come to value so much over the years. Those friends know where I came from, and where I am now, and love me still. It’s amazing that we’ve sustained relationships through years of growth and change. There were plenty of things to work out along the way, and each lasting friendship is a miracle of sorts!

As I’ve aged, my lack of understanding about how to nurture and sustain a friendship has changed completely. Good communication, working hard in relationships, digging in… These are things I do understand now, and feel strongly about. I work hard at it. I’m not an easy person to love sometimes, and I know that. I am well aware that there are those who like my big personality, and others who don’t. While I accept that, I certainly have days where I still wage internal wars with myself, and many other days when I am at peace with that reality. Over time, I’ve become much slower to make friends, I’ve learned (the hard way) that it takes time really know someone. These days, the friendships that I have tend to be much more important to me. I work hard in relationships and value enormously those who reciprocate that. I don’t let go easily, to a fault, no doubt. I chew on things and dig in, hoping to make relationships that have become important, stay important. It isn’t always possible, however, and in the end there have been losses that are hard to deal with.

For several years, I was estranged from one of the dearest people in my life. We have been friends since I was nine. She has been through nearly every important time in my life: my father’s death, school, college, getting married, and I have a photo of her holding my first child, just weeks old. The estrangement came for several reasons, but there was not a week that went by that I didn’t miss her. We finally reconnected over the past year, and we are both deeply committed to keeping the ties strong. She is my family; I love her, and life wasn’t the same without her.

I get it: things happen; emotions shift; not all friendships last forever. Even the ones you’re sure will.  I guess I didn’t really understand that for a long time. In my heart, in my head, once certain thresholds have been crossed, it’s always been hard for me to imagine letting go, or moving beyond a relationship that was once vital and sacred in my life. Admittedly, it’s something I still struggle with. I’m grateful that digging in, saved the friendship I mentioned before. Others can’t be saved. There are different kinds of ends, some are easier to come to terms with than others, even if they are not easy to move past. Sometimes we meet people in our lives at a certain stage, a particular place in time, that we just meld, and it works. Our kids are the same ages; we get along as couples; or perhaps we live near each other. It’s easier to let some things go when you meet those kinds of friends. You tend to overlook little issues, that over time may or may not cause cracks. Convenience and/or comfort makes for an easy blindfold; it’s easy to overlook smaller conflicts, when you find someone you think will fit into the big picture. When things shift or change however, perhaps some of these friendships don’t hold up. If it’s a mutual break, it’s much easier to accept, and move on. When it’s one-sided, it can be hard for one or both parties. While I’m not good at letting go, in general, it’s an ending that I’ve been better at moving past, as it inherently makes sense to me.

Then there are endings that are painfully one-sided. One party changes; one person is no longer interested or invested; two people drift apart, and the ending feels unbalanced. I’ve been on both sides of that equation, and it never feels good; it’s never easy. If you’re being left behind, it’s hard not to wonder what you could do differently, or try to mend fractures. It’s hard not to feel injured and defensive. Been there, done that. If you’re the one moving on, it might feel like the right step, but it isn’t necessarily pain-free. From this side, it’s easy to feel guilty and torn, despite your conviction that the friendship isn’t right for you. If you share other friends, it’s even harder. There’s often an inevitable awkwardness to social contact, for both parties. Mutual friends may feel torn, and it’s easy to feel like you’re in a sticky mess all around.

Image: gurl.com

Image: gurl.com

In my mind, the hardest end to a friendship is when things just get screwed up, and there’s not turning back. Hurt feelings, difficult situations, and painful moves that lead two seemingly close friends, to separate and end a friendship. I’ve said it before, these past three years have been rough. There was a lot of shit raining down on my corner of the world, and not all of my friendships came out intact. Depression, my mother’s death, tough marital issues that took a lot of energy and work, and I needed my friends more than ever. Sadly, things don’t always go the way we want, and not all fractures mend. When you’ve done all you know how to do, all you can, when “I’m sorry,” doesn’t turn the tide, and the wounds run too deep, there is an inevitable time when you have to cut the ties and let go. It sucks, and I’m terrible at it. Terrible. Leads me to crazy ass dreams, hours (and hours and hours) of wishful thinking and what ifs… More I’m sorry’s and wishing to fix something, I can’t fix. Loss, I’m not sure I’ll ever be good at it.  There have been some sad days, working on growing up.

Life is complex, and one person’s expectations or hopes for a relationship doesn’t always  gel with another person’s. Plain and simple. Simply painful. Relationships that once seemed indestructible, and on which I hung my hopes, didn’t stand up, and it’s a very hard pill to swallow. Admittedly, I’ve gagged on that pill too many times, before finally accepting that I just need to gulp it down. The slow end of a close friendship is a death, and there’s mourning to be done. It’s one thing to mourn someone who is truly gone, and another to mourn someone you still run into, or who still pops up on Facebook, who your kids still ask about, or you still think of often. They’re not really gone, but the relationship has died. The grieving process is twisted and surreal. Letting go is much more challenging.

image: itsuxtobefat.com

image: itsuxtobefat.com

If we indeed marry our best friends, as a few of you have suggested, than marriages that last are truly a gift. Why do we work so hard at those friendships, those ties, and not the others? I’ve confused those lines at times, believing a friendship is like a marriage: it takes work and commitment. They’re not the same.  Is it children, or legal worries that keep us married, or is that friendship truly above all others? Is it any real mystery that so many marriages don’t last, when so many friendships putter out.

And yet, time does indeed heal all wounds; I believe that. I also know that it can take a lot more time than I’m comfortable with, but it does heal. New friendships are born, and fostered.  Through our moves, and life’s changes, I’ve learned that there are always new experiences and surprising new relationships to be had. Being open to them is key. It’s easy to hold people at a distance when you feel like your life is just the way it should be, and miss out on new, rich relationships that you might never have considered, from a comfortable spot. It’s also easy to keep your head down, when you’re feeling lost.  I’m also learning to look up and around a little more. Sometimes there’s something special right in front of you, that you didn’t notice, trying to hang on to relationships that weren’t working anymore.  It’s good to find out that loss there is new growth and new ties.

Through all of it, I’ve learned to stand on my own more comfortably, and not expect so much. I’ve looked much closer at the mistakes I’ve made and the ways I need to change, as well as the things I just can’t change– the things that are integral to who I am, that may not work for some others, but are too much “me” to give up or change. It’s all growth, and that’s a good thing. It may not be easy, but it’s a good thing in the end. This year as I take on working at Hospice, as I let go and accept difficult changes, as I work on accepting the things I can’t change, and enjoy the positive new relationships I have, I’m making my peace with death.

Do you have friends that have been in your life forever? Do you have a bestie, and what makes that friend your bestie? Have you lost a good friend; tell me about it, in the comment section. Share your thoughts.

Image: jaynekopp.com

Image: jaynekopp.com

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
Aside | This entry was posted in Aging, Awareness, Blog, Blogging, Death, Honest observations on many things, Life, Musings, My world, Personal change, Tales From the Motherland, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Friendship: A Slow, Painful Death…

  1. Yes I was thinking about my bestie reading this, and even by that word before getting to the end and your use of it 🙂

    I can echo a lot of this. Have had a rough few years as well and during it all lost three close friends. My bestie died and that is still hard. The other two drifted off of their own accord, one slipped away quietly the other unpleasantly.

    I’m in need of some new ones stat!! I’m just not really sure how to go about it at the moment!

    Like

    • I think making new friends is challenging, but important. Like you, I’ve lost some very close friends, and it’s been really hard. I totally understand what you mean; it’s terribly painful. That said, I’ve also found some wonderful new friends in the process. Don’t rush it; that’s never the best way. Take those deep breaths, that we both know are good, and things will work out. So sorry for the loss of your friend; I remember that post, and it was so hard to imagine. Hang in there, blog friend. xo

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  2. Mike Lince says:

    I had a friend for over a decade. She was the first person among family and friends that I introduced to Florence when Florence and I first got together. Opposite gender friendships pose unique challenges, especially when men with romantic interests become envious of the ease of relating between good friends. When she broke up with her boyfriend I supported her, which put me at odds with her boyfriend. That was no big deal until they got back together. I had done nothing more than support her during an emotionally challenging time, but it cost us our friendship. I still see her name crop up in comments with mutual friends on Facebook although we never interact anymore. I hope she is happy. Life goes on. – Mike

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    • I understand your loss, Mike. I’ve had similar situations one particularly painful one (years ago) with a male friend. You’re right, opposite gender friendships really do pose unique challenges! He and I had been friends for ages, but his gf didn’t really understand that. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. klm says:

    Plain and simple. Simply painful. Yes indeed. I had a broken friendship, which was acute. It has resurfaced as an acquaintance… I find myself being very cautious with my friend heart! She is of course, still valued, but we won’t be as close as we were (I’m too afraid.) I think she could really use a close friend.. but I was blindsided by the breakup and not willing to be that person. (even though I now know circumstances.. ) It is not easy to get beyond. My mind does not tell my heart what to feel.

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    • Welcome to TFTM, Kim. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment, and hope you’ll read more.

      I really empathize with what you’ve shared here. I think that is the crux. When hard times pass, and someone who was once a close friend wants to go back and renew a broken friendship, trust is huge! It’s really hard to trust someone, when you’ve felt let down… or tried to fix it, and been rejected. I’m not sure that really works. All my best to you, as you navigate this difficult terrain. Again, your time and effort to share, is much appreciated.

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  4. Great post. I’ve thought about writing about a friend for ages and haven’t. Right now, I have 2 close friends– and I try to see them given everyone’s hectic lives– it’s hard. A friend- not that close– died unexpectedly a couple years ago– and I miss her. Other people seem to come and go as life changes and changes and more demands are made on my time.

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    • It’s hard to balance it all, Lisa. The older I get, however, the more I value my friends. The losses are harder, but the blessings are greater. 🙂 I am coming to NYC tomorrow… very unexpected, surprise Hanukkah gift. Are you free during the day on Friday? I should have emailed you sooner, but it came up so unexpectedly, I forgot! Sorry. I am free all day Friday and on my own in the city. Let me know. I’d love to meet in person. 🙂

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  5. Katalina4 says:

    Oh, big heart…
    Yes, friendships are so so vital, and it can be so confusing and painful sometimes when we hit bumpy stuff. Is it me? Is it her? Will we get through this? Should I let her go? Will she dump me?
    Life, it seems, happens in relationship, and relationship means friends. So much to learn always…
    xxx Kat

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  7. Robin says:

    oh boy, this has been my mind for so many months and I want to write about it but am not brave enough, since people I know read this. I have a bestie who isn’t there for me anymore, and it pains me in a huge way. I have another who has been toxic, and I just drifted from her, w/nothing really said earlier this year and I just learned he mom died…..thinking about calling her today but not sure?? We haven’t talked in 8-9 months? Friendships are hard. Like you, I’m very loyal and want to do the right thing but feel like in our 40s something about friendships have changed. Nobody wants to put the time in. The work in. Maybe it’s the social media thing that keeps people there but at a distance? Anyway, thanks for your post as there is lots for me to mull over….

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    • Thank you Robin for sharing. I think a lot of people struggle with friendship, but I’ve definitely noticed bigger changes since I hit my 40s and now 50. I expect more, but give more. Endings are harder. I would call your friend; the death of a parent is really hard, and I’m sure she would appreciate your thought. Or, send a card. Do what feels right. We’re all in this together, just spinning on different levels.

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  8. Holli says:

    I also have many friends I consider family due to us living far away from own family. As we’ve moved, some of these close and precious friendships have drifted and changed. Some, I lost touch with and others, we just pick up where we left off even after 10 plus years have past. I miss some of them dearly and your post has made me smile thinking of them- thanks for that:)

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  9. This is all part of the human condition. It’s funny that you posted about this, because I was just reviewing a post I wrote awhile ago in honor of all the friendships in my life, thinking about reposting it in the near future. They are something I need to exist, they fill me up. With that said, it can be so crushing when one doesn’t work out. I’ve had it happen. Lots of hugs for what you’re going through.

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  10. I’ve always said it’s important to have a friend who knows where the spoons are in your kitchen. At least one good friend you can share everything with, and who can be brutally honest if need be. Someone who would come running at a moment’s notice in an emergency. Maybe because i was raised an only child, I don’t feel the need for an entourage of friends. But then you are so right, that kind of loss can be excruciatingly painful.

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  11. Twindaddy says:

    Friendships have always been complicated for me. I moved around so much in my youth that I kind of shut myself down to avoid the pain of losing people anymore. I don’t know that I’ve ever fully opened back up.

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  12. Carrie Rubin says:

    I’m sure it won’t surprise you that my ‘bestie’ is my husband. I’m just not one of those people who seeks much outside friendship. Sure, I have many acquaintances in the community who I admire and respect, but I don’t actively create more intimate bonds. Too bad, too, because studies show that those with a large social network do better in their later years.

    This is a beautiful post, and you’ve captured the complexity of relationships wonderfully.

    Like

    • Thanks, Carrie. It was hard to write. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time… but wasn’t sure how to write it and not be bitter, or too mushy either.

      No, I’m not surprised that your husband is your best friend… but isn’t that a beautiful thing! My guess is that you will do just fine in later years. 😉 Thanks for taking the time.

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  13. This resonates with me very much, My Lady. Friendships are not necessarily forever, no matter what the Hallmark cards say. Some linger on life support for a while until they die naturally, some need one person to just pull the plug and then it dies quietly, some need to be put to death. I have one right now that needs that, because it’s become somewhat toxic and unhealthy for me. And I realize that friendships are not always 50/50, but this one has been about 80/20, not in my favor, for a while now and like an idiot, I didn’t realize it until recently. So I have to figure out a humane way to kill it. It won’t be fun.

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    • The toxic piece is really important. I’ve had to walk away from a couple of friendships because they just confused me, or turned me upside down, in some way or another. It’s hard when the other person doesn’t see it, and you feel like the person pulling the plug, on something that both of you should exit gracefully. That said, I work hard on my friendships, and when the balance is off, I’m learning to let go. You can only bang your head into walls for so long, before you get an ugly scar. Thanks for taking the time to read this post, Madame. I always appreciate your time and thought. 😉

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  14. susanissima says:

    Thoughtful piece of writing, Dawn, with some painful energy (I’m sensing) behind it.

    I’ve always hated the term “best friend” because it just seems so divisive, so middle school, and one time I did hurt a friend by using it in her presence as a label for another friend. This actually was in middle school and I’lI never forget the tears welling up in her eyes. It’s sort of like “best cheese,” “best wine,” “best beach in Andalucia.” And yet, when I think of my husband “best friend” does seem to fit perfectly.

    One practice that is important at this stage of life is that of trying to move past categories and even expectations in relationships and to just stay open to possibilities, the magic of moments, the joys of companionship (if you want it) along whichever leg of the journey your friends and you are sharing at any given moment. That’s not to say we need to dance with crazymakers, but life is not a contest of good, better, best, nor are friendships. They are gifts, some tiny and some overwhelming.

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    • I agree totally, Susan! Totally. However, I’m finding that some friendships just aren’t sustainable, on almost any level, and others are too painful… given changes and shifts. I am much more open to adjusting to changes, than I was years ago, but it does take two to dance, and if your partner wants to rumba and you’re ready to twist, it isn’t always possible. Thanks for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful, supportive comment. I’m grateful for your friendship. xo

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  15. I loved this. the same thoughts have been swirling around in my cranium of late.
    Your piece invoked sadness and the reality of friendships. I am guilty of allowing people to slip away, usually due to an onset of the crazy. No news is good news is my reasoning. If I have nothing happy or amusing to share, then staying underground seems the only choice.

    Lost my bestie about a year ago. We had been tight friends for close to 8 years. Spent lots of time together tearing it up, girls weekends at Calistoga, helping each other if either needed it.
    One night we were out in Reno and my wallet was rifled through. The cash and my debit card were gone, but the social security card, MasterCard and other valuable items were still there.
    Blamed it on people sitting around us. Was deranged because the thief had emptied my bank account. My dear friend offered solace, advice and offered to loan me some money, when she got paid, until the bank straightened it out.
    The bank called to tell me that there were pictures taken at an ATM. I looked at them. It was my best friend.

    How does one even Deal with that? I may be guilty of hiding when life is drowning me, but sociopathic and cruel actions are never to blame.

    Seems you have recently lost someone once held close. You have my empathy and love.
    Be well Dawn.

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    • Wow! That is a terrible story. I can’t imagine finding out a friend had betrayed me in such a horrible way! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I think friendship is hard enough, without adding serious issues like theft,lying, and betrayal to the mix. Thanks so much for sharing, and for taking the time to read and comment. Much appreciated!

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    • Rachael. I was gone all day, and responding from my phone… which wasn’t showing me names of who sent comments. I would remind you that not all friends need “happy or amusing.” I think we all need to be there for our friends in the good and the bad. We often (mostly) need them even more in the hard times, right? Hard timing to lose your bestie, but given the circumstances. I wanted to add this, once I saw it was you… Don’t hide the hard stuff. It’s all part of who you are. Good friends will manage just fine. Hugs.

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  16. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Great post and discussion, Dawn. Yes, I have long-term friends (one I’ve know since we were 7!) And friends I thought would be friends forever, but weren’t. The most recent was my bestie from about five years ago who moved – and I’m still not exactly sure why she moved – something about the area where we live being toxic. She moved from our lovely, sweet, safe town to a place about which I am familiar and would definitely consider toxic, because an astrologer told her that this is where she would find the love of her life (which, to my knowledge has not happened yet!).

    Anyway, after she moved, she rarely had time to talk to me and we drifted apart. It was interesting, on some level, I began grieving the loss before she moved even though I tried to justify to myself that the distance wouldn’t matter. We have phones, texts, email! But I think I knew that she was pulling away, not just from the area, but from her friends here, including me. It has taken me some time to forgive and let go, which I have. I’ve moved on and continue to make new and special friends. I think, as is reflected in your post, that friendship is organic and changes…

    Thanks, Dawn for this thought-provoking piece.

    Cathy

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    • I think the hardest thing, is when friendships just slip away silently without explanation or reason. I’m sorry you lost your best friend that way. It does sound like there was more going on, and maybe you’ll never know… That said, it is wonderful to make new friends and learn to let go. I’m continuing to work on that! Thanks so much for sharing, and taking the time to read and comment. Your time is much appreciated!

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    • Cathy, From my phone, I couldn’t see who’d sent these comments. Thanks for sharing such a personal story. It’s so hard when friendships just drift apart with no rhyme or reason… Having moved, I’ve lost some good friends to distance. I never really get that, as it seems we could have just tired harder to see each other. It’s all a process though, and we grow and learn from each change. I’m glad for new friends, and old ones. 😉

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  17. Wow. I think we really are soul mates. This post was so timely… and so important for me. I had a best friend for nearly 20 years — our families vacationed together, our kids grew up together, we were inseparable. Three years ago, our arguments grew a little more frequent and a little more intense. Then, she just decided she was done. I don’t even know what the breaking point was (I have suppositions, of course, but we have never spoken about it), but all communication ceased. Our family moved out of state, and that was it. It truly felt like a divorce — or even a death — in many ways. Our whole family went through a grieving process — there was sadness, denial, anger… we ran the gamut. It was both incredibly painful and incredibly enlightening. I’m still learning lessons about who I am, who she was, and who we were together. As difficult as it was for me personally, what makes me the saddest is thinking about the relationships our kids lost in the crossfire.

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    • Just remember, I called the soul mates first. 😉 I think this topic if timely for a lot of people, because (I think) few of us come unscathed in the friendship game. I can’t imagine a loss like the one you shared here, Katrina. When my closest friend of 40 years and I were alienated for 4 years, it was like knife in my heart… constantly. All kinds of things would make me think of her, and I’d miss her all over again. I’ve added two paragraphs to the post, based on comments and additional thoughts. It’s struck a nerve for a lot of people. I’m so sorry for the loss in your life. Thanks for sharing. xo

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  18. I don’t have any friends from high school. I have only one friend from college, and she was my maid of honor at my first and second wedding, 17 years later. We live on opposite coasts and neither see nor speak to each other very frequently, but when we do, it’s like we’ve never been apart. I wish I had more friends nearby who are writers. Perhaps I’m not good at cultivating close friendships. But I don’t feel the need to have lots of friends.

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    • Welcome to TFTM. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment; much appreciated! It’s really special to have a friend that has shared your life for that long. I love those friendships that are so comfortable that whenever you talk, it just falls into place. You’re lucky to have such a special friend in your life. Not everyone needs lots of friends. 😉

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  19. I couldn’t have read this at a better time. A friendship of mine recently died and we had been friends for 30 years. It was my decision and not one I came to lightly. In fact, I struggle with it almost daily. The problem is just what you said about some wounds cutting too deep. It’s not that I don’t forgive her, it’s that I just can’t forget it. To me, it says everything about who she is as a person. She said she thought we were family and family can work through everything. While this is true, when it comes down to it, even family members sometime become estranged. I would still help her if she needed. I still love her and it ended mostly civil. I just think that our friendship is not healthy for me. It has an unhealthy balance where I’m the one always taken advantage of but I’m like you and have the hardest time letting go. Any words of wisdom? 🙂

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    • I think it’s fair to say that none of my words are all that wise. Trial by fire, for me! Up until your last sentences (about healthy) is the exact situation I’m in with one friend. SO painful, and so hard. We haven’t been friends for 30 years, but she felt like family, I trusted her with my family, and the loss cuts really deep. All that to say: I hear you! I think it’s just a matter of working on the letting go, OR sincerely working it out. If both parties want it badly enough, any hurt can be mended. Sure, it may take time to trust again, but as I said in marriage, and with family, you either decide to work it out, or it ends. Endings are so hard and I think many could have been healed. Personally, the line for me these days is my self-esteem and my personal journey. If someone helps me be the best version of my SELF that I want to be, I will work forever. If they don’t, if they bring me down… I need to let go. Maybe you do too? Sorry for the loss. It sucks.

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  20. The Waiting says:

    Dawn, this was wonderful and I’m glad you urged me to haunt your blog a bit this evening because a lot of the things you write in this post have been on my mind lately. A month or so ago I got a promo code for ten free fancy-schmancy Christmas cards, and even though I hadn’t planned on sending cards this year, I thought to myself, “What they hay? They’re free!” and so I ordered them. Then, once they came in the mail, I had to sit down and decide who I was going to send them to. Family was obvious, so they got the first ones. Then I had to chose which of my friends I was going to send the three remaining cards to. It was a harder decision that I thought it would be, as this year I have had the chance to see some of my longest friends and many of the encounters were strange. Our lives no longer coincide (at least on the surface) and we found that we seemed to have very little in common outside of the memories we forged together when we were younger. I ended up putting more thought into those three cards that I thought I would when I saw the bargain in my email. It was bittersweet, but if anything, it reminded me that I can’t reduce my friends to little pieces of paper that I send out in December, and that if I really value who they were and still are, I will meet them where they are.

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    • Like marriage, I really do believe that friendships are a marathon, not a sprint. It really does require that we put in patience and time… time… and more time. That said, they don’t all survive. Some friendships bloom in one place and time, and can’t survive in another time. Others just aren’t healthy or sustainable. It’s those rare and wonderful ones that truly last.

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