A little good news came my way this morning. My dear hubby found his best friend from childhood on Facebook today. He’s been searching for him for some years now, wondering, fearing that something had happened to him. But fortunately, now he knows that at least his dear friend is alive and appears to be doing well. Even though he has been downplaying the effect that his best friend’s absence has had on his life, I know deep down, he has been troubled by it. To see the relief in his eyes warms me and I feel happy for him.
I think culturally we need to give more honor to our friendships. Our friendships can effect us so deeply. I’ve always joked around and said “Friendships are no different than marriage…minus the sex and bills.”
We love our friends. Some friendships last into old age. Some last for only a moment. Some friendships are a refuge of peace and some are filled with ruckus and silliness. Some end tragically. Some end dramatically. And yet some fade quietly only to leave those involved wondering what happened.
It’s sad that we don’t give as much honorary significance to our friendships as we do our romantic relationships. Friendships are their own unique love stories filled with laughter, fights and tears. There are memorable moments, close calls, hidden scars, buried hatchets, secrets and skeletons. There are parts of ourselves that we may share with no one other than that beloved best friend, yet for such closeness we can turn around and be so frivolous with our friendships. We toss them aside so easily through the act of avoidance. Unlike romantic relationships, where an end needs to be declared or an explanation is warranted, no such thing is required for friendships. People just stop talking or stop hanging out. And in the wake of such break ups there’s no support. To where or to whom do you turn when your heart is broken from a jilted friendship? What support groups are there for when the one person who has known you since the sandbox no longer cares to have you in their life? We may bare our bodies to many lovers in a lifetime but it is often our best friend to whom we bare our souls, yet we have no special ceremonies to mark these relationships, no process or protocol to signal their end or any support system to grieve their dissolution. We walk around conflicted as how to express the significance of our friends in our lives and quietly bare the anguish at the loss of those friendships.
If nothing more comes from my husband finding his old friend on Facebook, I at least know he can carry on in peace knowing that his friend is okay. It’s a chapter in his life he can give some closure to and to that I’m grateful.