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  • Writer's pictureFran Braga Meininger

How to Lose a Friend


It’s not intentional, well, not always, anyway. Life changes, it takes you along different paths. Interests change. People grow apart. Find new jobs, new lovers and move on to something or somewhere far away. But sometimes, people just choose to be different and their old relationships don’t fit who they become.


No matter how they try to fit their treasured, long-loved friend into their new them, they just don’t fit. Like a mistakenly chosen piece in a jigsaw puzzle, they turn and flip and press hard with no success.


But how does one lose a friend? Once the reality is discovered and accepted, how does one go about it?


Is it best to let it just fade away? Should one look away as it drifts like a boat loose from its mooring caught in the outgoing tide; pretending not to notice as it grows ever smaller on the horizon? Is it kinder to allow the friendship to lose its energy slowly without the discomfort of that final conversation and the ultimate goodbye? Or does that pay disrespect to what had gone before?


If there was at one time, respect, love and a bond that mattered, can one just walk away without so much as a eulogy or some sort of a final ritual, perhaps a simple toast to days gone by? Important questions, I feel, but am I the only one who has pondered such things?

People lose friends all the time. I wonder if they ever give any thought to how they should, or did they just look back one day and realize that person was gone and feel a simple sorrow because they never said goodbye.


It certainly cannot be a sorrow of missing their company or a regret that they will no longer be a part of their life, for when a friendship is lost it was meant to be. Friendships that are intended to remain, do. They are guarded and tended like a garden to enjoy in the future. They are not left to their own, to run dry from inattention. They are cared for and nurtured.

But not all friendships are meant to last forever. Some are indeed best let go. Of that, I am certain.


My question, the burning thought of the day, is how best to do it; for friendships come and go, and how we lose them matters.


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4 Comments


Lori Greenstone
Lori Greenstone
Feb 26, 2022

The best thought I've found is 'this friendship has become complete; we have offered all we had for each other and now it is time to let go, even if that may not be our first choice, for whatever reason.' I do like the thought of some ritual, even on one side for oneself, of letting go of a friendship one thought would be lifelong. And what do we know? Perhaps some string will wrap back around if we remain open. Life is long... and life is short. Circumstances, thoughts, and even beliefs shift and change. Meanwhile, I find peace in accepting what is, loving anyway, from afar. In my mind, she is still my friend.

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Fran Braga Meininger
Fran Braga Meininger
Feb 26, 2022
Replying to

Such a tender perspective and eloquent words. Thank you, Lori. Fran

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ek2000
Dec 12, 2021

This post resonates during this season of my life when the pandemic has caused riffs, distance, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities for connection and socializing. The loss or fading of a friendship is usually not even; one person is often left in the dark trying to field excuses for not getting together, or figuring out what the long stretches of silence means.

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Fran Braga Meininger
Fran Braga Meininger
Feb 26, 2022
Replying to

It's been hard on our relationships, as it has on us. Thank you for your candid comment, EK.

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