I lost a friend this week.
We had not been close in the past few years, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks that he was gone.
He was one of those friends that was always on the edge of my mind. I would drive by a place and think of him, or hear a song, or see a pool and my thoughts would turn to him. And he was one of those friends that I could not see for 3 years and then just pick up right where we left off when we saw each other again.
So getting the news that we wouldn’t ever be able to pick back up again was just a little shocking and made me very sad.
And while trying to process that loss, I really got to thinking about friendship.
I have a small circle of friends. I love my friends dearly. They are the people I share my whole heart with, and I don’t pretend to be anyone I am not. They are the people who have my back when needed, and I trust them implicitly.
But I often don’t keep up with my friends the way I would like to. I don’t see them enough, and I frequently find that I am so lost in my own world that I am not supporting them in the way that they support me. I will often beat myself up for not being a better friend.
But my friends are wise and caring, and they often help me learn in life. This week, they got me thinking about friendship.
Here is what I realized:
- Friendship is allowed to ebb and flow. Some friendships are supposed to have me seeing them every couple of weeks, and for some, it is ok only to see them every couple of years.
- Friendship may fade away, and that is fine. Not every friendship is supposed to last a lifetime. Sometimes friends come into your life when you need them, and they are gone just as quick. They may last a few years or a few months and then they are gone. They leave good memories, but they are not supposed to last.
- Knowing every single fact about your friend is not a requirement for friendship. A few months ago, I reached out to a friend I hadn’t spoken to in months, and through our conversation, I found out she had lost her mom last year. I felt like the worst friend ever for not knowing. But I came to realize that I didn’t have to know everything about my friend’s life to be a friend to her still. Just the act of loving her and talking to her made me her friend, and if I continued to do that, I was a good friend. Because I can’t expect my friends to know everything about my life, I can’t expect to know everything about theirs. I just have to continue to care about them and think about them and love them.
- Friendship doesn’t have to be in person. I really love the fact that I have made connections with people online through social media or this blog. And while I do think that face to face is easier to make a connection, I know that I still care about the people who are in my circle online. Especially the ones that I chat with regularly. A connection is a connection no matter how it is made.
I can’t say that I realized all of this on my own. I got a lot of good advice from my friends. I am so happy they make me a better person.
So, here’s to friendship, no matter what form it takes. I would not like my life much if I didn’t have my friends. I love you all!