In my experience, they mostly fade away. Someone you spoke to daily becomes someone you speak to once in a while. Life keeps you both busy, and you wander in different directions. Maybe a year or two later, you’ve changed phones and not got their number in your pocket any more. They’ve moved on from their job, and their email starts to bounce. Half a dozen years later, even your mutual friends don’t see both of you any more. It’s always reminded me of an old house in the forest slowly succumbing to the foliage and nature.
Sometimes friendships die because one party wants them to. I’ve had that happen a few times too. A friend will be upset, and stop contact. If they’re really malicious, they’ll try and sour mutual friendships too. Their anger is overpowering and prevents them from remembering the friendship’s history, the shared moments of joy they gave me, or I them.
When the latter happens, I mourn. I grieve. Often, I will try and fix it. Maybe I’m deficient in recognising when matter are beyond repair? Because I always seem to be the one who is last to realise, and the last to give up trying to salvage.
I lost a friend this week.
Perhaps I lost her a lot earlier? But this week, the loss was confirmed.
For a while now, quite a while actually and probably a longer while than I think was appropriate, I held onto the hope our friendship had life.
I was confused as to why she wanted it to die. The confusion obsessed me. I was frustrated she didn’t want to fix it. We’d always been very very good friends, and, she’d repeatedly claimed this outcome wasn’t what she wanted. Most of all, I was sad. Sad it’d come to this.
Strangely enough, it feels better now. Knowing it’s gone.
Knowing I can do nothing to fix it.
Knowing that, when I look back at my behaviour these last few months, I have acted with honesty and integrity and not turned nasty. I can stand by everything I have done and said.
At the end, the confusion, the frustration, the sadness, they all become something new yet something so familiar – disappointment.