It is hard to say goodbye to an old friend. I am currently having to do just that. Sometimes, things deteriorate beyond salvage and the relationship must end. I have had this happen before, not very often – but it has happened.
In my younger days, I was a bridge-burner. I just moved on. I left high school and kept up with very few friends, mostly the ones who went to the same university. After four fun-filled years at college, I left those friends with every intent of doing better. I did not. Oh, I tried. For a year or two I kept up with some. But we all got scattered around the country and once-close ties severed. I predate social media, so we didn’t have that easy connection to tether me to my friends.
I have had to end relationships since then, though not as frequently. It was much easier to end friendships when I moved cities. I have lived in the same city for twenty-five years now and have no intention of leaving. So I can’t pack up and forget to give a forwarding address. Also, the aforementioned social media makes ending a relationship a public event. You have to be sure it is the proper thing to do before you push “unfriend,” or “block.”
What are some causes of ended friendships anyway? Here are some big ones. It isn’t an exhaustive list, you might have experienced other issues.
A trust violation – can be major or minor, equally damaging.
Priority shift – things become important to one and not the other.
Lack of support – a friend has stopped being there for you.
Selfishness – the friend who has all day to complain but has to go when it is time to listen.
Drift – Sometimes, friends just drift apart. It isn’t a willful decision on either side.
Friends can’t always be replaced. Depending on the length and emotional depth of the friendship, there can be a sizable void when the friendship ends. Pain. Regret. Panic, doubt, and second-guessing can even set in. Most of the time, there is even a grieving period when a friendship dies.
So it is with this friend. We’ve been through a lot together. There were entire days we spent together and I don’t regret them. They were good days… comfortable days. Never tight or strenuous, my friend and I got along perfectly. We fit together. I felt a certain contentment with this friend that I rarely feel. In fact, besides my wife, I’ve been closer to few others.
Why, do you ask, must this friendship end?
Is my friend moving? Did my friend betray me?
No, due to old age, my friend’s elastic waistband ripped through the soft, cotton fabric and my favorite pair of boxers is caput. The friendship is no longer salvageable. I could save it for a dust rag or staining cloth, but that’d be weird… unlike writing a blog post about underwear.
Photo attribution: Bert Kaufmann from Roermond, Netherlands (Loneliness Uploaded by russavia)
24 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye”
i am so sorry for your loss, mark. sometimes it’s all in the flexibility and the ability to stretch ourselves beyond where we have been before, and once that support is gone….)
Haha. Sage advice, Beth. Thanks for being there for me.
Dear Mr Myers
Please accept my heartfelt condolence on your loss. Despite having suffered a similar loss in my own lifetime, I would not dream of imposing that personal suffering on yours at this sad time. All I would venture is a small suggestion of affection … it helped me see life beyond my own bottomless despair: just let it all out – don’t try and hold it in on your own – just let it out.
Thank you. Mr Commando for your heartwarming letter. I feel closer to you already.
ROFL!!!! I knew there was a funny punchline waiting for me but just didn’t see THIS one!
Glad you enjoyed
Laughing at my pain
Sorry Mark, but it was funny. 😀
You wear boxers?
We do get rather sensative in our older age. Priorities must be set 🙂
Saying goodbye is still hard
Tears in my eyes! I’m so sorry that you are losing your friend! LOL!! You had me until the last line!
Here I was being walked down Memory Row about the two human relationships I’ve had to end–and you’re talking about underwear? You toy with my emotions, Mark…but you slay me still! 😀
😛. Sucka! I’ll have to do a serious post soon to keep people guessing.
Haha! Mark, you’ve got me eating out of your hand. I look forward to anything you have to say, so keep doing what you do!
Sorry for your loss and the best last line of the week!! Well played 🙂
I am learning to let go… Thank you.
You and my hubby share the same friends! 🙂 Loved that laugh for my day!
Gahahahaa! So funny! RIP, old friends… RIP.
Thank you. Your sympathy is appreciated.
I totally understand your pain. My condolences 😦
I’m glad you can relate. Tough stuff, Art…
LOL!! Started off the day with a great laugh!! Thank you! Now………..please go find some new friends.