When a Friendship Fades …

A year ago this week a friend of mine stopped texting me. And calling me. And reaching out. I was equally guilty of doing the same. There was no wicked fight or brouhaha that preceded it. It was just the polite conclusion of a 20-year camaraderie. It was a friendship period at the end of a friendship sentence, and we both knew it.

And I’m okay with it.

30-year old me would have fretted, consumed that I did something wrong. 40-year old me would have tried to salvage it, given our longstanding history. 50-year old me acknowledged our friendship and then blessed and released it into the universe.

Sometimes people come into our life exactly when we need them—you know, like a good skincare regimen. Currently, there are about 2,542,886 people in my orbit. About a dozen of ’em are in my inner circle. And only a handful are my ride-or-die besties. (Those are the people you call for bail. Or to initially help hide the body so you don’t get arrested in the first place.)

Because I’m the epitome of an Aries, I’m wildly loyal to my friends—almost to a fault. It’s a blessing and a curse. When this friend wafted away, I found it disconcerting at first. But the writing was on the wall. This person, albeit irreplaceable, and I were in different places, spaces and graces.

There was no denouement, no final act, no Friends finale. It was all rather uneventful. It’s possible to have plenty in common with someone, until you don’t. It’s possible to laugh, cry and kibitz with someone, until you can’t anymore.

All things being said, it was the least nuanced, most reverent split in the history of friend-dom. Remember when Gwyneth Paltrow gave her hubs the boot and called it “conscious uncoupling.” This was more like “unconscious unfriending.” No burnt bridges. No crying over spilt milk. No useless analogies which are often considered pedestrian.

I look back on our time together with an affection and an affinity”kind of like a long-lost war buddy. We’ve been through a lot together, and now we’re on different trajectory. We’re bandmates who went solo.

And I’m okay with it.

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