Losing a friend who has been there for you when you’ve needed them, whether they’ve been your friend for a year or for your whole life, is always difficult. It was never going to be easy and no one ever said it would be. However, the majority of people have to go through it. Whether they move away, or you move away, you go to different colleges, you simply drift apart or you have a huge argument – all these things can sadly lead to the end of a friendship.
I’ve lost quite a few friends in my 17 year long life so far. Sadly, all the people I have lost have been among my closest friends and it’s really hurt to lose them. In one situation, we just drifted apart and in the other two we had a big argument. I’ve explained one of these stories in my article regarding toxic friendships so if you want to hear that story then you can find that on my profile.
Me and one of my close friends, let’s call her Jane, met at a drama class. Jane was a year younger than me but that didn’t make a difference and we grew really close. We were forever having sleepovers and meeting up and when we had to do pair work in drama, you were bound to find us together. We were pretty much inseparable, despite going to different secondary schools. Then one day Jane told me that instead of doing drama, she wanted to learn to ice skate. I was a little upset but we vowed we’d keep in touch – and we did, for a while. We’d message each other all the time and meet up for Christmas and birthdays to exchange presents and then have sleepovers, usually once a month, like we used to. Slowly, this happened less and less. We started seeing each other for Christmas and birthdays only. I now haven’t seen Jane for over a year. I still have her Christmas present wrapped somewhere in my kitchen. I’ll message her every so often and we’ll try and make plans to meet but they always seem to fall through – which is sad, considering how close we used to be. I still care about her and I’d be there if she needed me but it isn’t the same. That’s okay though, because times change and people change.
Going through this experience is going to be hard – anyone who claims that it’s easy is a liar because it really isn’t. So you need to find ways to occupy yourself and keep going, despite how difficult it is to always stay strong.
One way is surround yourself with people who care about you and want to support you. This could be your other friends, your family or even someone at school like a guidance counsellor or a teacher. If you talk to someone about what’s happened, it takes a huge weight off your shoulders and gives you a chance to offload and cry if you need to. Being strong isn't about your ability to hide your feelings, more about your ability to show and accept them, so remember to let the tears come if they need to. By surrounding yourself with loving people, it can help to keep your spirits up and to channel your grief and anger, or whatever other feelings you have at the time, in to something productive.
Speaking of being productive, don’t stop doing the things you love. When I lost any of my friends, I threw myself in to things I enjoyed. I continued with drama even though that’s where I’d met Jane and I baked cakes and other treats even though that was something Jane and I did together. I organised sleepovers with friends and put extra effort and attention to school work to distract myself. Not only did these things distract me but they made me happy. Yes, I’d still think about Jane but it didn’t always make me sad.
Why didn’t it make me sad? It was because I was remembering the fun times we had together. Just because you aren’t friends anymore or you aren’t as close as you once were doesn’t mean those memories disappear. I encourage you to think about them. You might feel a little sad or nostalgic but you can also feel grateful for the times you did share and the experiences you had during your friendship. Don’t regret those times or try and forget them. They’re a part of your life, they’re a part of you. They helped shape you and helped you grow to the person you are today.
So look back on those days and experiences with fondness and work on making new memories with people you love.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.