Shifting Tides

There’s a less-talked-about reality that hides beneath the surface of being an adult—a bit like a graveyard of friendships chilling in the corners of our minds. This hidden space holds memories of past birthdays, couples’ trips, inside jokes, familiar food orders, and the tunes of our favorite songs.

One essential lesson often seems to be missing: the unwritten guide to dealing with the mysterious endings of friendships. It’s not about feeling mad or resentful, but more like encountering an unexpected gap, where the departures leave us with unspoken lessons. Sometimes, people exit our lives without much notice, relationships slowly fade, and some friendships are only meant for a certain season.

While we have rituals and formulas for processing the loss of a romantic breakup, when it comes to the end of friendships, we are left unmoored in our grief. Dr. Kenneth Doka calls this experience “disenfranchised grief,” which “cannot be openly acknowledged, socially mourned or publicly supported.” – an article on Forbes

In the quiet moments when we’re lost in thought, our minds revisit those who once played starring roles in our stories. They’re frozen, posing questions we might never answer: Do they still take their coffee the same way? Do they ever think of me when it’s my birthday, when they have exciting news, when my favorite songs come on the radio? Are they aware of the milestones I’ve reached, and do they wonder about the ones I’ve missed?

Marriage and parenthood often serve as profound turning points, reshaping the dynamics of our social circles. The connection forged with a life partner brings about shifting priorities that may lead to a reevaluation of friendships. Conversations may shift from spontaneous adventures to discussions about family commitments. And we learn to appreciate the transient nature of relationships, understanding that each chapter may bring both farewells and new beginnings.

The memories from way back when? They’re not creepy ghosts hovering around; more like these chill reminders of how human connections are all over the place—constantly changing, here one moment, gone the next, and sometimes hitting you right in the feels with their short-lived magic. 🌟


Look at these babies!!!


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