Loss is always hard. Loss in terms of death, a break up, ending of a friendship, someone, moving away, giving a pet away… and during certain times a year these losses seem to magnify.
There are a lot of things I could do with this topic of loss right now. Last Christmas was the first one without my grandfather. There was a car accident at my school and a student was killed. I also lost two friendships. The car accident and the loss of friendships all happened this month. However, I’m going to talk about the loss of friendships.
I don’t really ever hear anyone talking about the pain of losing friends, just the pain of breaking up with someone. Ending a friendship is kind of like breaking up with someone you were close to. It is not the same thing, and romance is so prominent in our culture that the ending of platonic relationships is often not something that is dealt with in the media and discourse. Not to conflate losing a significant other and losing a friend, but losing a friend can also break your heart too. It can hurt just as much.
It can be especially hard when you did not initiate the ending of the friendship. I didn’t initiate the ending of mine, and part of it was my fault. As always, conflict situations are complicated but the part that is my fault is loudest in my mind. I sometimes start to think that maybe I am a bad person, and no one should be friends with me ever again.
This is not true. Every single person will be a partial cause to the end of a friendship at least once in their life. We all hurt people, even when we do not mean to do so. We all hurt people, with intent during a moment of anger. We are humans. It will happen. Someone will do the same to you. I think the best thing is to try to accept this fact. It’s a very painful fact, but it’s less painful if you accept it with love.
When I say accept it with love, I mean this: If a person wants to end a friendship (or any relationship) with me, it’s because they are trying to do what is best for them. If I love this person, if I care about this person, I will also want what is best for them. If what is best for that person is ending their friendship with me, I will respect it and let them do it. It hurts, but if you love someone you let them go. For me, this makes it easier to lose friendships to know that the love I have for that person will override everything else at the end of the day, and know that I just want what is best for them.
I get to keep that love forever too. I get to keep all the pictures and all the memories, and cherish them even though right now, they sting. But they will sting less with time.
There is a MIKA song called “Happy Ending”. The lyrics say: “This is the way you left me, I’m not pretending. No hope, no love, no glory. No happy ending. This is the way that we love, like it’s forever, and we spend the rest of our lives not together” but then in the middle of the song, it gets quiet until a group of people start saying “little bit of love” over and over, louder and louder. In all that pain, there is still that little bit of love you have for that person to be happy, to get you through. You can still be angry. You can still be hurt. But sometimes I just tell myself “a little bit of love” to get through the day.
Click here to hear MIKA’s song “Happy Ending” on Youtube.