How do you let go when friendship dies?
Today, I got a wake-up call that a friendship has died. Even as I write, I hesitate to say that it has. We have shared so much and the thought of how much I grew under the sun of this friendship, makes me want to hang on to it.
I feel guilty because I feel as though I contributed to its demise. There was a time, even with the others in my very small circle, that she and I found time to engage in discourse about particular topics of interest to us. We were always there to encourage each other or to reinforce some important beliefs. For me, she was right for the part of the journey that I was growing through and things had were just perfect between us.
Then life happened: I started studying again, and one day led to several days and then weeks and months of not engaging as we had. I wanted to but I guess the desire was not as great as the need for sleep, completing research papers and performing my many and varied job functions that had me sacrificing meals and plotting when next I could get some sleep. I was just too tired. I still am.
We see each other often but I know our connection is no longer there. At least, not as strong as it used to be. Today, when I stopped to greet her and received a less than pleasant greeting, it hit me. The time has come to move on and let go. I have been feeling it for some time now. I have not felt ready to accept it but the encounter had me thinking about something I read years ago: People fit into either of three categories in your life – people are here for a reason, season or lifetime. I’ll treasure the lessons we have shared but its time to move on.
Friendships,many relationships, are often like that. The key is learning when, what and how to let go. Sometimes we get sentimental because of our shared past and we feel obligated to maintain it. Perhaps we need to recognize and accept that perhaps we were/are here for a particular phase of the journey, to be whatever is required of us to each other, in the boundaries of the relationship. It could be that you/we are meant to be in another’s life for a lifetime, for however long a lifetime is. What we need to do, is be willing: to let go when the time comes, to accept it for what it is, and to define its role in your/our life.
Does it mean you will stop communicating? Perhaps, yes. It may be instead you have an occasional really good conversation, a night out and that’s all you’re meant to. Or perhaps, this is it and you just need to wish each other well and get on with living. Understand that every relationship transitions, morphs, changes.
Even when you are as sentimental as I am, when the time comes, accept reality. Keep the memories, enjoy what was but look towards the future.
It’s waiting there for you.