The one thing in life that you can count on is that things change. Some changes are planned, others are unexpected. Over the course of my life, I’ve found that most, if not all changes, have been for the better, even when it sometimes didn’t feel that way while I was going through the inevitable upheaval change brings. But I’m having a hard time looking at one of the most recent changes in my life as something positive. Last month, one of my closest friends moved all the way to the other side of the country.
This friend is one of my “go to” friends. You know what I mean: The kind of friend you share good news with before you tell anyone else. The kind of friend who is always there for you when you need help. The kind of friend who totally gets you. For nine years, we’ve shared all of the ups and downs in our lives, with weekly coffee dates, lunches or dinners.
When she broke the news to me, I wanted to be happy for her. She is following her bliss: she is moving to a beautiful part of the country that makes her soul sing. She will start a new business in the profession she loves. Her family is excited – even her teenage kids are happy about the move. But as much as I wanted to be the good, supportive friend, when she told me she was moving, I felt like my heart was breaking into a million pieces.
Don’t get me wrong. I know our friendship will endure. Friends of the heart remain friends forever. We will always be an important part of each others’ lives. But instead of sitting down over coffee at our favorite outdoor meeting place, or, during the colder months, at my house, we’ll have to make do with Skype for our coffee dates. We’ll text, email and Facebook. Thank God for technology – even though it’s not the same as being together in person, it makes staying in touch so much easier than it used to be.
As much as I generally try to embrace change, with this experience I feel much like a cat. Cats don’t like to have their lives turned upside down. They balk at having their routines disrupted, and it takes time for them to adjust.
I know she and I will figure things out, and reach a “new normal” in our friendship. I’ll spend more time with my other friends. I’ll make new friends. And so will she. And when we visit each other, after being separated by more miles than I can bear right now, it will be like no time has passed at all, and we’ll pick up right where we left off. Because that’s what friends of the heart do.
And in the meantime, Allegra and Ruby will have to put up with some extra hugs from me. They’ve been doing a wonderful job helping mom to not be so sad.
Have you experienced a close friend moving away, or have you been the one who moved? How did you cope?