Are Friendships Forever?

I have always believed that friendships should not end, so I have never ended one. Some of my friendships simply fade away, some fade away forever, while others return stronger after a few months or years with little or no communication. I sometime mourn once close friendships even though I know that we all grow, sometimes in different directions. Sometimes I get nostalgic and call someone that I have not spoken to in 10 years and after 15 minutes, I remember why. In other cases, we both realize how much we have grown and changed in the passing years - after 10 year, the fact that I missed a significant life event, or didn't like a now former boyfriend, or gave criticism when empathy was needed, all seems insignificant.

Friendships sometimes change due to a major life event such as marriage, children or embarking on a new career. A recently read a wonderful article in More magazine about a woman who adopted 2 wonderful children at age 55. Her friend just frankly told her that she thought that she was making a bad choice adopting at her age and didn't want to stick around to hear about the challenges of raising kids. As a mom of three boys under 6, I am very familiar with how "diaper talk" can scare away friends without children, or how the nesting stage of marriage can scare away single friends.  These are the friend who slowly return after they get married or start to have their own children or just become more confident in their own life choices.

Have you ever had a friend who you loved but was just not the right friend for your current situation. Maybe you were changing religion and that person could not provide the support that you needed, or you pack up the family and move to a new city and your friend can't understand your choice, or you decided to quit school and travel the world and needed to take a break from the friendship to avoid the disapproving comments.  We all have these challenges that can either result in momentary breaks in friendships or long term rifts.  If you take a temporary break, it is possible to come full circle and have an even stronger friendship.

We all have a deep need to connect with each other. I still believe that friendship is forever, even when it ends or fades away.   When a friend enters our lives,  he or she touches our hearts, minds, and soul in a special way and whether they remain a constant in our lives or they change course, their imprint remains. Today as I make my Sunday phone calls, I will call a friend that I have not spoken to in a few years and see if the absence has made our hearts grow fonder.

Autherine @
Janet AutherineComment