On the Loss of a Friendship
I only know how to write from my heart, from the very guts of me. And in the subject of loneliness, my heart is leading me to a place my mind does not want to go. But go we must. Trudge. Crawl. Lay on the floor breathless and in pain. And then crawl again. Eventually, eventually, we can stand up and walk but it is not time that heals wounds. It is time and suffering. It is time and suffering and heartwork. It is time and suffering and heartwork and faith. It is time and suffering and heartwork and faith and love.
Then we can be whole.
It is hard, my sister, when we are left.
It is hard, my sister, when we used to have someone to call and then we don’t.
It is hard, my sister, when we had someone to share secrets and fears and dreams with and then it stops.
It is hard, my sister, when sometimes those get twisted and go on display for all to see.
It is hard, my sister, when we mourn a loss, when we grieve the death of a friendship.
It does not matter if it is for the best.
It does not matter if the two have grown apart.
It does not matter if you are the one who had to say, “Enough.”
It hurts. And those hurts linger for a long time.
You will want to go back.
You will want to fix it.
You will want to have just one more conversation.
You will want to try and see their side.
You will want them to see yours.
But sometimes, that cannot happen unless there is distance and breath, and even then, sometimes it does not come.
I have to tell you, I think the ending of a friendship, of THE friendship, is worse than the ending of a marriage, even a good one.
Friends are different. The BEST friend is an honor. There is history here. Struggle and despair, hope and joy. It is the best friend who affirms your insecurities, the best friend who cheers you on when no one else does, the best friend who says “YES! Yes you can”, when everyone else says, “Maybe.”
It is the best friend who watches your babies be born, the best friend who walks before you down the aisle, the best friend who grabs your hand and says, “I am here”, even if she doesn’t understand. It is the best friend who says, “You deserve better”, the best friend who reaches out before you walk off a cliff and says, “Wait – are you sure?” It is the best friend who nods OK when you say “Yes – this is what I need.” It is the best friend who helps you pick a nail color, who helps you brush out your kids’ lice, who buys the book you’ve been wanting when you are home sick. It is the best friend who holds your hair back when you drink too much, the best friend who goes on the next diet with you, the best friend who says, “This diet is dumb” and brings McDonalds right when you want it the most.
The best friend.
And then something happens, usually many tiny somethings, and there is a gap. Words are spoken and the misunderstandings grow. Texts are sent that never should have been. Saying “I am sorry” is not enough now. HURTS are too big and unintentional WOUNDS too big.
My sister. I feel you.
The tragedy of it all is something that was once wonderful and sacred now hangs in tatters and neither wants to stitch it back together. Pride holds us back. The need for validation does too. We want to be seen. Why can’t you see me anymore? We want to be heard. Why can’t you hear what I’m trying to say?
No one wins.
No one wins.
And we forget that winning is nowhere in the best friend handbook.
My sister. I can promise you were wronged. I can also promise that she was too. That’s how you both see it and unless someone wants to grab a mirror and say, “I GIVE, I GIVE! I see now!” Nothing is made right again.
I believe God sends us all the right people. He will send you someone. Not the same kind of someone, not the same kind of friendship, but it will be just what you need.
He will do the same for her. Because He loves you BOTH. Be glad for that, my sister.
Because at one time she was your best friend and you wanted everything wonderful for her.