Losing Friends Hurts, Even When You’re an Adult

As a mom of teenagers, I’m forever listening intently to my kiddos speak of their friendships, wondering which kids will stay around, which kids may hurt mine, or which kids my kids may hurt. Friendships, relationships in general, are essential to a happy life. So even as we watch movies about mean girls and read books about kids feeling left out, we must remember friendships are equally important as adults.

I am sad to say I have lost a few good friends throughout my life. Some I have chosen to let go, because the friendship ran it’s course or wasn’t good for me, some simply drifted apart because of distance or time or commonalities being lost. Regardless of whether or not people are good for us, I think it still hurts to lose people who were once a part of our lives.

Keeping people in our lives who are unsupportive or detrimental to our growth is a bad idea. But what drew us to them in the first place? Was it the fun you had on the weekends, the private jokes you shared, her great sense of life that drew you in? Perhaps you were once negative and you shared that common thread and you’ve grown into a more positive person and she just didn’t like the new you? Perhaps she outgrew you – she made changes in her life and you just don’t fit into that new life with her. While we can examine and understand what began and temporarily sustained a friendship in the first place, it is good to fall back on the healthy reasons the friendship needed to end.

What about the friendships that drift subtly, almost sneaky in their decent until one day you realize you can’t even pick up the phone to call your friend, someone who may have been on your top three list? These broken friendships leave a little melancholy in my soul. Before the melancholy, there is usually a lot of anger, blame and righteousness. Maybe it’s followed by guilt, incredulity, confusion as to what your part was in the demise. Sometimes there is denial.

Ultimately, I believe there is only one way to ultimately move forward and that way is forgiveness. Forgiveness of your friend for however you perceived he/she wronged you and forgiveness of yourself for whatever part you played in the relationship ending. I think forgiveness is the only way to fully let go so you can either rebuild the friendship or truly move away from it with more happy memories than sad.

Have you had any broken friendships? How have you bounced back from the loss of friends in your life? Do you find it challenging to let go or to forgive? I’d love to hear your story. Please leave a comment below or on Facebook!

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