Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lost Friendships

     Her phone lit up with a Facebook notification. You have memories on this day. She tapped the shining notification and was immediately taken to the page which showed all of the things she had posted one year, two years, and three years ago on the same date. It was a neat little app which often made her smile or laugh in remembrance.

     Today, her smile quickly faded as the first picture that popped up was of a friend group picture from last year. Although it was a cheerful picture full of happy faces, it now gave her no joy.

     So much had changed. The group of friends had dispersed and no longer spent time together.

     They had gotten so close. They had laughed together, played together, sang together, acted together, had fun together, spoke honestly together, and wept together. Some of them had bonded so tightly that their friendship felt so secure that they were sure nothing could break it. Personally, she had waited a while before coming close to some of them, but when she did she was loyal.

She is loyal to a fault. 

     This school year everything was different. The bonds that were once as strong as steel somehow disintegrated into scraps. The secrets that they had once shared were no longer remembered or discussed. The hardships they had encountered were no more than a distant memory. It was as if their close friendship had never happened in the first place.

     Some people have said that the group was way too close in the first place, which is possibly true. Some people have said that separation is a normal part of sophomore year, which is also accurate. Some people have said that the distance is a good thing, which may turn out to be certain.

     Although she agreed with the logic behind the remarks, she still felt the emotional repercussions of the breaking. As each friend started to slip away, ending with a friend who was very dear to her heart, she began to grieve. Just as with the death or the separation of a loved one, so also she learned that it is possible to grieve over the loss of friendship. All of the stages are exhibited. At first, she denied it for such a long time. She would actively try to bring the group together again as if nothing had ever gotten in the way. She would naively believe that one day it would all be returned to how it once was. An honest friend soon spoke words of harsh truth to help her see how things really were. She has also briefly and sporadically visited the stages of anger against the people for giving up, mild depression for wondering how life could go on, and bargaining to find solutions in the middle. At last she is starting to accept things as they are, but it is not easy or fun.

     If you are going through or have gone through the loss of a friend or a relationship, do not beat yourself up for being emotionally compromised for a long time. Grief, the emotional instability after the loss of a close individual, is normal. Why do you feel this way? Because the Lord has given you the great gift of love and it hurts when it is torn away from you. However, do not be afraid to love people again. God gives us individuals for us to love and pour our lives in for only incremental seasons of time. Relish the chance to love with all your heart, even when it hurts! It is part of our purpose in this world!

So grieve for the people you lost, but always love the people you have!