Loss of a Friendship: Dealing With a Void You Never Thought Would Happen


loss of friendship

A year has gone by and it isn’t any easier. Through thick and thin – I thought! Even now, I find it difficult to describe the sense of loss. It isn’t just because it is the holiday season. It isn’t just because the days are shorted in the winter and everyone is a bit more gloomy. No that isn’t it.

It is because I never thought it would happen, of our own volition, of our own doing. It is one thing when someone close to you passes away, it is completely another when they live and breathe – just without you. What am I supposed to do to get over the hurt and get to a place where it doesn’t sting every time I think about it.

How can I come to terms with the fact that someone I thought was a true friend, chose to walk away?

Backing up for a minute, this friendship lasted 30 years. Through numerous family issues, men issues, and kid issues, we were there for each other. I think of many times, when we would sit long into the night, face to face or on the phone, lamenting and complaining. Always patient, always listening, and sometimes screaming and crying. The celebrations were joyous, the trips together were exciting.

I got to the point where I thought that we would be 80 years old and still friends. Of course now I realize that will never happen and it stings. How do I understand it myself, how do I explain to my kids who see my sadness and are old enough to ask questions?

It is the classic stages of grief. First there was shock and denial, this can’t be happening to us! Then I felt the pain, sharp and insistent. Then the anger overtook me. I’m still not sure how to get past that one! I want to pick up the phone, scream, text, talk…all of it! If I thought it would be received and heard, I would do it, but I think we are beyond that.

Finally, depression over the whole situation has set in. And really I am stuck here. I am thinking there has to be an upturn of some sort soon, but like I said, it has been a year, and nothing has improved. In fact I think I have abandonment issues developing out of this. If that friendship can end, then everything and anything is up for grabs! What else can turn on its head?

As a child and teen, I was often called naive and told that I view the world through rose-colored glasses. I didn’t think it was a bad thing. After all, there were good times and difficult times, but overall, I was able to see the positives. Now I am not so sure.   

There has a been a rug pulled out from under me. This was not my choice, so do I respect it and move on? Do we all change and sometimes grow apart? Why? Why can’t we grow, but actually in parallels, so that we can still exist together even if we are more different than we were in our late teens, twenties and thirties? I really thought that these things happen to friendships that are not nurtured, and ours was! Or at least I thought it was. 

At the end of the day, I miss her and all that we shared. Being a grown up sucks. I will try to grow past this and give it as much time as it needs. Perhaps at any age we learn to deal with what life dishes out. I never thought this would be part of it. This was a tough one.

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Alla lives in Ardsley with her husband, two teenage girls and fluffy Havanese dog named Oliver. She is a camp director in Dobbs Ferry for the last 11 years which is her second career. Prior to this career change, she was in finance for over 18 years. Alla enjoys cooking, travel, yoga, good wine and reality TV. Her motto is 'I can learn to do anything and laugh at myself trying.' Learning to live with teenagers and sending them off to college may be the biggest learning curve yet!


  1. I truly enjoyed this article.
    While I’ve yet to have someone “walk away” in this manner, similarly, a dear friend behaved so poorly (more than once) that I chose to walk away. My thoughts and feelings were made known. Clearly and without anger. They were met with indifference which confirmed my decision to remove myself from this relationship. I so identify with the emotions that you share Alla. Perhaps the friendships weren’t as mutual as we’d thought all along. I actually feel a bit of a burden lifted. Hopefully with time, you’ll heal to find enlightenment.

    • Thank you and you are right. I think it’s partially this lack of closure and forthcoming that I didn’t get, which continues to hurt long after the action. I thank you for your thoughts on this and I’m glad that you enjoyed the article, sad as the situation may be.

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