the heartbreak of losing a friend.

letting-go-relationship_conflictNo one warns you about the loss of a best friend and the heartbreak that it will cause. We aren’t prepared for friends to walk away from us. Not only are we terrible at accepting the fact that most people will inevitably walk out of our lives, we are terrible at handling it when it comes to pass. We’re such self absorbed individuals that it’s really hard for us to understand why someone would leave us. We can’t wrap our head around it. We know the code when we lose a lover. We know the stages of grief for relationship heartbreak- eat a lot of Ben and Jerry’s, blame and pity ourselves, cry to our friends, and then eventually wake up one day and we’re past it all. But when we lose a best friend, that’s something worse almost, it’s a different kind of heartbreak. It sits in our bones. 

See, with friends, we’re used to not involving them in every single aspect of our lives. Sometimes days or weeks go by without speaking and our day-to-day isn’t affected so much. When we lose a lover or a partner, the world seems like it ends in that moment, because all of a sudden, everything changes. Losing a friend is a slow cancer. It doesn’t hit you until weeks or months later, when you wake up and you realize the hole in your heart because you’re missing them. You’re lonely without them. Friends become a part of us, they shape our future and we grow with them. It usually takes us months and life experience to realize how empty everything feels without them. 

I lost a soul connected friend 3 years ago. After nearly 10 years of friendship and a lot of love between us, we decided to see if there was more to our love than “just friends”. I’ve always known what they say about dating a friend, either it works or you lose them forever. Despite all of this we took the chance and promised each other the latter wouldn’t happen. But I wasn’t ready for that, in all honesty, and neither was he. After 3 months he ghosted on me and we only spoke one more time after that. Then I never heard from him again. It really hurt to be treated like that by a friend turned lover. I didn’t feel like I deserved it at the time, but looking back, maybe I did. 

Like I said, we’re never prepared for someone to leave us. Most of the time it has nothing to do with us, because at the end of the day we’re all doing what we think is best. The only way we can learn to understand someone’s reason for leaving us is to think about the valid reasons we’ve chosen to walk away from others in our past. We need to stop blaming other people and wishing for all the things we could’ve done differently. Whenever people walk out of our lives, it creates space for new people to walk in. We should be thankful for sharing a part of our journey and stop taking it personal when people leave. 

After 3 years I decided I wanted to reach out and see if the anger had passed and it might be possible to try to be friends again. I was wrong. I’ve never been capable of remaining angry for too long, I think it’s a strength. Sometimes it makes me naive, but mostly I just refuse to carry anger and negative emotions for too long. It’s exhausting. My friend is a scorpio so I guess for him, holding onto anger comes second nature. That’s the difference between us. He was angry at me for more reasons than I could never have fathomed, for things I didn’t even know I’d done nor did he understand. It blew my mind how someone could carry all of that for so long. Now I’m not saying I didn’t make mistakes, but I didn’t make them in the way I was being accused of. It made me realize I had a choice to make. Although I was the one that reached out and “opened the bag”, so to say, I either needed to take a trip down memory lane and bring up all the old emotions I felt years ago, or I needed to realize my own mistake and officially close the bag once and for all. 

I chose to close the bag. Instead of sitting there arguing and unpacking all of our mistakes and accusations, I realized some things are better left in the past. What he obviously needed was closure. Understandable. But at this point, I couldn’t be the one to give it to him. It had been too long and there was too much misinformation coming from him. If he had heard rumors years ago, he should have brought it up then and given me a chance to have an honest conversation. He chose not to. And I decided it wasn’t worth it for me. Moving forward with a new relationship and a new friendship wasn’t possible with someone who was still so angry after so many years. 

I always held on to the hope that after some time we would be able to be friends again. For the last few years part of me always thought we would. I always left the door slightly open for him because I thought a true friendship wouldn’t just end forever. It hurt reaching out to be rejected again, to be screamed at and accused of things that were coming from a place you couldn’t even understand. I spent a few days dwelling on it, bringing up the same emotions I felt years ago, blaming myself for not handling it all well. Now I realize that moving forward, all I can do is be thankful for the years I had him as a friend. I can’t change the past, and I can’t be the one to re-hash the past to try to convince someone I didn’t do them wrong, when he is still blinded by hurt. It’s not my place. And it’s not yours. Sometimes screaming until we’re red in the face trying to convince someone we’re right, trying to make someone “see it our way” is truly a worthless battle. Sometimes two people can both be right, even at odds. Sometimes things will never work out, and that’s okay. Because if they don’t work out, then they weren’t meant to. 

I learned that bringing up the past never starts a new beginning. I learned that we can’t always give closure to others, sometimes they need to do it on their own. I learned that some things are better left in the past. And I learned that not all friendships are meant to last forever, even if they’ve lasted a decade. If he hadn’t have walked out of my life 3 years ago, I wouldn’t have the relationship I have now, or be in the same place in my life, without a doubt. There is always a reason someone leaves. Even if the reason doesn’t make sense, most of the time it never will. The reason in the end is to make space for someone or something better. 

Next time someone leaves, try to not let it break you. Not every lost relationship needs to shatter us. People come and people go, nothing lasts forever.



4 thoughts on “the heartbreak of losing a friend.

  1. Julie Beeks says:

    I really love this. One of the worst heartbreaks I ever suffered was at the hands of my guy best friend from middle school to college. We tried to give it a chance to and it exploded in our face. It hurt worse than any other heartbreak. This is a great piece!


  2. Patricia Tierney says:

    Ahhh, my wise friend! I’ve been confused and brooding about a lost friendship of a best girlfriend. I’ve never been ghosted by a BFF before! Sometimes I want it to make sense, other times I want to let it go. I’ve reached out and it’s led nowhere. So that’s where it stays. And for now that’s okay.


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