Conscious Cat Sunday: When a Friend of the Heart Moves Away

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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?

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27 Comments on Conscious Cat Sunday: When a Friend of the Heart Moves Away

  1. Monica Ackerman
    November 14, 2015 at 2:03 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow Ingrid, now there’s a change for you. Years ago when my boyfriend and I separated, my 2 year old Maxximus might have missed him more than I did. True, I was sad but he was miserable. And I did feel the change was good for me, life was never the same for Maxxie. He looked for his daddy every day and went nuts when the door bell rang. Sad to say he became a very different cat. Now, both my cats Charlie and Chelsea have participated in a huge change in my life recently, moving from a house we lived in for 25 years and settling into a small but beautiful apartment. It took them a few days of confusion and insecurity but they sorted it out and now 2 months later they’re doing just great. And we moved only 30 miles away so the old friends are still in our lives.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 15, 2015 at 6:52 am (4 years ago)

      I’m glad the move worked out so well for you and your kitties, Monica.

      Reply
  2. Becky
    November 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm (4 years ago)

    My cousin’s daughter lived with us for almost 2 years, Winter age 4-6. My husband and I have been lost for months. Only now are we just begining to find ourselves recreating the routine, before Winter. Even all the cats miss her, especially our Zed who listened every night as we read our night time stories.
    I went to visit her and boy was I sniffed by every one in the house, except my husband of course. They all remember her so much and feel that loss.
    All I can offer is we are greater to have their love in our lives. Connections like that can never be lost through distance or time.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 10, 2015 at 7:18 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you for your words of comfort, Becky.

      Reply
  3. Glogirly
    November 8, 2015 at 10:38 pm (4 years ago)

    I totally understand, Ingrid. It’s so hard to lose that day to day touch point with a dear friend. My best friend and I haven’t lived in the same city for over 25 years. One thing I can absolutely guarantee you is that each time you’re together, it will be like no time at all has passed. And it will make those times you’re together all the more special.

    My friend left Minneapolis for NYC. Fortunately we still manage to see each other at least 1-2 times every year.

    Hugs to you… and promises of continued love and laughter for you and your friend.

    xo

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 9, 2015 at 6:48 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Debbie – hearing about your experience makes me feel much better.

      Reply
  4. Lola The Rescued Cat
    November 8, 2015 at 9:19 pm (4 years ago)

    So sorry about your friend moving, Ingrid. When I was younger (maybe 17 or 18) my best friend moved about an 90 minutes north. For us it was a million miles. This was the time before email, skype and all that good stuff, so we relied on letters and sporadic phone calls. (Everything was long distance then). After that she moved to Phoenix and we still stayed in touch. Friendships endure.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 9, 2015 at 6:52 am (4 years ago)

      I’m glad your friendship endured, Dawn. Back then, 90 miles must have seemed like a continent apart!

      Reply
  5. Lisa B
    November 8, 2015 at 7:29 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh Ingrid, I’m sorry you’re so obviously sad 🙁

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 9, 2015 at 6:52 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Lisa. It helps to know that so many of you understand.

      Reply
  6. Cat Holm
    November 8, 2015 at 11:53 am (4 years ago)

    Oh yes, Ingrid. I completely understand. I left many close friends for a cross country move in the last 2 years. I miss them greatly. It takes so much time to find new friends. I did make a good friend, and then she moved away! I am sorry for your loss…I know how it is. Yes, Thank Goodness for technology, but face to face is still the best.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 8, 2015 at 6:46 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for understanding,Cat.

      Reply
  7. Alexia
    November 8, 2015 at 11:05 am (4 years ago)

    My longest and dearest friend of 19 years moved out of state 3 years ago. I was and am still heartbroken. I cried for a week when she left and have not felt right since she left. I feel since she left life is dark and cruel. No form of communication is the same as having them close by to visit with much less depend on. I grieved terribly as we were each other’s confident, go to person and she was my elderly cats cat sitter for the length of her life. After she moved things imploded for me in the worse way as I made terrible decisions that led to disaster. Her moving also led her through terrible times and her moving turned out to not be a good decision for her. So neither of us has had the same life or been happy since she left. Friend’s are few where I am and I know that best friends you trust completely are never replaceable. I have acquired only distant friend’s since that have proven to be not true friendship worthy. I have been betrayed since she left and taken by false friends . My life was even ruined by a evil false friend who had a purpose of destroying my Happy life and taking my money. As a result I trust no one any longer and keep to myself not seeking out friend’s.so her leaving rocked me to my core in many ways. It’s impossible to remain the same type of close friends from a distance. I hate Skype and phone calls. That is impersonal and just makes you feel worse. Sometimes we text but we are in different time zones. Neither of us can afford to visit. Now she is to busy with a new business to stay in touch. It’s such a heartwrenching loss. I remain shattered to this day. Not having her here when my cat died was horrific and unimaginable. She stayed on the phone but it was far from the comfort of having her here. No form of communication replaces a true friends hug. I will never get over her leaving. It is such a terrible loss worse then grieving a,death because the real cruelty of life is they are unreachable and that left me shattered and utterly deeply depressed.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 8, 2015 at 5:54 pm (4 years ago)

      I’m so sorry you’re having such a difficult time with the loss of your dearest friend, Alexia. I hope in time you can find peace with not having her close by and with having to communicate differently.

      Reply
  8. Cindy B
    November 8, 2015 at 10:53 am (4 years ago)

    I am sorry you are going through this. I am going to give you a different perspective. While I haven’t experienced many friends moving away, I have experienced great loss more than I care to. I have also spent this year severing ties with people who have had a really negative impact on me. That includes walking away from some long term friendships that started off as wonderful and just didn’t work out. I don’t say this because I want people to feel sad or bad for me, because I don’t feel sorry for me.

    We all grieve for the loss of relationships (including friendships) because they have moved away or life has been unfair to them, or the friendship didn’t work out. In a way, you are grieving for the normalcy that is gone. Your every day routine you had with your friend, is suddenly not there. We all know the grief is okay. It’s healthy to grieve. Address those feelings, allow them to be part of you. Cry if you want. Tears are good.

    The beauty of what you are going through is that pretty soon you will be even more grateful for the friend you have. The reunion will be twice as sweet. The telephones calls and Skype sessions will seem brighter.

    As crazy as this sounds, I would not trade my life for anything in the world, as yes that includes those heartbreaking losses. All those people that have come and gone in my life have played a very important role in making me who I am.

    The funny thing is recently, I am finding I have more room in my heart to welcome new friends in. Old friends move away, and now the new ones will occupy that physical space. The one thing in common, is that the heart will always endure.

    Peace to you. Hug those kitties a little tighter and listen to their purr. We all know the healing power of purr. Piper is sending some out to you.

    Cindy

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for your lovely words, Cindy. They really made a difference in how I feel. I love what you said about being even more grateful for my friend.

      Reply
  9. Diane Walz
    November 8, 2015 at 10:09 am (4 years ago)

    I know how you feel Ingrid. Kind of empty inside. My best friend moved away over 2 years ago and I was and am still lost. We saw each other all the time, were each others cat sitters and horse buddies. We still talk several times a week and she has been back to visit family but it’s just still not the same. I try to look at the bright side but I’m still lonely. What if we would have been separated by death instead of distance… at least I still have a confidant over the phone.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 8, 2015 at 5:55 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for your comforting words, Diane.

      Reply
  10. Pamela
    November 8, 2015 at 9:43 am (4 years ago)

    You are blessed to have developed such a deep friendship and to know how blessed you are to have this relationship in your life. That in itself is the prize, the jewel, the gold. I think this type of wealth is rare in our fast paced world. I am glad for both of you. It is sad she is moving so far away, but this sadness is only possible because you love and value each other.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Pam. You are so right – the sadness is the direct result of how much she means to me.

      Reply
  11. Janine
    November 8, 2015 at 8:49 am (4 years ago)

    I only have one good friend who I can depend on to be there when I need her. I would be upset if she moved too. So, I know what you are going through.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 8, 2015 at 6:01 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Janine!

      Reply
  12. Fur Everywhere
    November 8, 2015 at 6:56 am (4 years ago)

    I’m sorry, Ingrid. I know you’re trying to be positive, but it is okay to be sad. Friends moving away is really difficult, especially when you have such a bond!

    When I moved for graduate school, I didn’t know anyone here. It’s always been more difficult for me to make friends because I’m kind of shy around new people. I still don’t have a lot of friends here – 11 years later – but I’ve been fortunate to find a few good ones. Most of my friends are actually far away and we connect via messenger/chat/email.

    I know you don’t know me well, but I’m around if you want to talk or anything. You are such a great person – I can’t imagine your friend ever disconnecting from you. You will both adjust in time. In the meantime, allow yourself to grieve – it is natural and healthy. *hug*

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 8, 2015 at 6:01 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for your words of comfort, Sierra – they mean so much!

      Reply
  13. Valerei Knight
    November 8, 2015 at 6:24 am (4 years ago)

    I know how you feel, it is so heart braking when your best friend moves away an leaves you, feel like you will never have another person to talk , have fun with. But you will find another way yo get together. My heart goes out to you, hope you and your friend still have long talks fun together, give Allegra and Ruby Big Hugs.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 8, 2015 at 6:37 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you for your beautiful words, Valerie. Allegra and Ruby send kitty kisses.

      Reply
  14. Sam Cee
    November 8, 2015 at 6:13 am (4 years ago)

    I moved from the north of England to the south about ten years ago. The worst wrench was leaving my best friend behind. I used to drive to hers on the way home from work & we’d share our troubles & joys over cups of tea. I would stay over once a week or she’d come to mine & we’d watch tv, cook together, drink wine, dance – whatever took the mood! She always helps me to see the nub of any problem I have (I often can’t see the wood for the trees). She’s a joy to be around & even though I see her as I much as I can, I still miss being able to pop by on my way home from work. She will always be in my life. I love her. Just wish we were closer. Thanks for posting today. It’s made me appreciate that I am going up to spend the weekend with her this coming Friday. I’ll be sure to treasure every moment with her x

    Reply

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