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Reflections on past friendships

Saturday, September 29, 2007
Reading Lightening and Sonskred’s posts earlier this week has prompted me to write about my own experiences dealing with the past, and letting good things go. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I just might have to, in order to explain everything.

I was 13 when my mother died from cancer. It’s such a wretched age to feel alone, with those hormones running riot. I’d felt alone for such a long time before hand. I hadn’t told my mother when I got my period, because I was so determined to not worry her while she was fighting for her life.

But this story isn’t about my mother (I may go there another time), it’s about what happened after. As an only child of an only child, I was left with my father, and my grandparents, who were obviously devastated. I sought out other people to talk to. From friends parents, to people I knew who had been through a similar experience. Living away from home in boarding school it was easy to hide from my family, to lose myself in friends and to pour my heart out to them.

What wasn’t easy, was when, for whatever reason, they left school. It was really hard to let go. Like Lightening said: “When something or someone means a lot to me, they mean a lot to me for LIFE”. That’s what I felt when these friends who I had poured my heart out to left my daily life, and I had to let go of these people who have meant so much to me.

A perfect example is someone, whom I shall call Susan. Susan’s mother died of a brain tumour about 6 months after my mother. She is 3 years older than me, but for two years we were inseparable. We cried on each others shoulders, screamed to each other that it wasn’t fair, and watched out for each other. When she left school she moved home to be with her father and brother. We lost contact.

When Hubby and I moved up here it took me a while to realise, but her family owned the local furniture shop. It still took me a couple of years to go in there, and I saw her brother, and knew immediately it was her family who ran it. It was only earlier last year (3 years after moving here) I ran into her at a Whitlam’s Concert in town. Despite many attempts over the past 18 months, we’ve met up once, for a quick coffee. Did I mention for all of last year I worked less than a 5 minute walk from her work? She drives past my house twice a day on the way to and from work.

So why haven’t we met up? Why is it after 10 years since we last talked, and 5 years since I moved here, we don’t get together more often? The simple answer is we’ve changed. But the more complex answer is that we don’t need each other anymore. That isn’t to discount what we meant to each other, far from it. It simply means that we each came into each others lives for a purpose, and that purpose was fulfilled. Neither of us feel the drive to be involved with the other anymore.

The obviously hard part about this is letting go. I love her dearly, and tell her so every time I see her, as she does me. But to let go of those intense relationships that got you through such difficult times is hard. I honour her for what she meant to me, but I try not to recreate those circumstances. That time is past, and we can both move towards our futures knowing what we meant to each other. And I guess that is the gift being given by meeting again after all this time.


  1. Kelley said...

    Beautifully written, babe.
    And so very true.
    Now get back to work! *snort*

    September 29, 2007 at 4:58 PM  

  2. emma.jean said...

    Wow! I really loved your post, it made a lot of sense to me. Thanks for writing it.

    September 29, 2007 at 6:53 PM  

  3. Kez said...

    I can relate to that in a way. I had a best friend from 2nd class right through to uni days - we went to school together, we shared a flat together at uni, we were pretty much inseparable. But then as we got older, moved away, got married, had kids etc, we don't see each other much at all. She even moved to the town where we live, so we live about 10 minutes apart and probably see each other a few times a year. We've grown up, and in a lot of ways, grown away from each other. I still know without a doubt that if I needed her, I could call and she would be there, but for the day-to-day stuff, we're just too different. Your post has made me realise that that's ok..

    September 29, 2007 at 7:49 PM  

  4. Precious_1 said...

    I so get what you are saying! Thanks for sharing hon

    September 29, 2007 at 11:23 PM  

  5. River said...

    Through my whole childhood, well my whole life really, I've had friends but never been really close with anyone. Many of my friends had a "best" friend with whom they shared troubles, triumphs, secrets and experiences. I often wished I had one but didn't know how to let my guard down enough to really share. So I've grown up a loner, in spite of being married (twice) and having the 4 kids.

    October 1, 2007 at 2:05 PM  

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