Friends for life?

11 Nov

Tonight i found out that an old friend of mine had become a mum, and i never even knew she was pregnant. I feel absolutely gutted.

It’s not that i feel it’s my right to have known. I haven’t seen her in nearly two years. It’s just in those few words she might as well have drawn a line from here to China and said i’m here and you’re there.

Everyone has those friends, the ones you hardly ever see or speak to, but they’re special to you, and if you never saw them again that wouldn’t change it. You shared something important and that stays with you.

Every now and then something reminds you of them, and you feel a tugging in your heart. A cliche for sure, but the truth. It’s a real physical longing, a pang of regret, a feeling that something is unfair, amiss, that circumstances rather than choice have drawn you unjustly apart.

So i’ve been feeling a bit sad. Mourning a friendship that i wish i still had in exactly the same way i did when i was 16.

But then my sister said something to me today which made total sense. You mourn that friendship because you feel that you have lost it, but actually the something special you shared is always there. In the end that part of your life is still special, still cherished, even if the friendship has changed, become distant, or passed.

What’s more, just because someone’s not a part of your life in the here and now, doesn’t mean they never will be again. That’s the thing with these special friendships, they pop up again when you least expect it. And the best thing of all is that when they do, the magic is still there.

So if you’re reading this, I love you Joy. I miss you. But i’ll be waiting here for you until i’m old and grey, if you ever fancy a natter. I know for sure we’d talk for hours, and I’d laugh a lot.

18 Responses to “Friends for life?”

  1. Michelle Twin Mum November 11, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    Oh how I relate to this. My best friend is in NZ and life has changed so much for us both that we now just communicate via text, my blog and the occasional email. I hope one day we get the chance to be back together again.

    I like the thought that the something special is still there.

    Thanks, Mich x

  2. jfb57 November 11, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    Your sister is right. It is also a good push to look at those other friendaships that may need you to just pick up the phone maybe. I know I need reminding from time to time!

  3. rachel frowd November 11, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Oh darling, I feel really teary reading this. We talked about it at length on Monday. Growing up, (yes, even in our 30s!) can bring so many bittersweet realisations.
    Mourning the ‘passing’ or changing of a special friendship is so hard. Sometimes its through distance, sometimes life changing events only happening to one of you, and sometimes old friends just seem to want to stop sharing their lives with you (which feels especially hurtful). I have experienced all 3 and even at 36, I still mourn these friendships as if I were 16. But, the unexpected can happen too. I recently met up with my bestfriend from primary school whom I hadn’t seen for 20 years. It was like a day hadn’t passed since we used to talk boys and midnight feasts walking home over Clapham Common. The bond was still there, just like it would have been even if we hadn’t got in touch again. The bond is still there for you and your old friends, even if the time isn’t right for you at the moment. And it’s ok to wait- with a big open heart, ready for when the time is right.

    • marketingtomilk November 11, 2010 at 11:42 am #

      A beautiful comment from a best friend for life x

  4. tim November 11, 2010 at 9:53 am #


  5. Rocker 38 November 11, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    As we pass through life’s phases, it is inevitable that our friends will change too. It doesn’t mean that we love them any less, just that our paths don’t cross any more. Hold them close to your heart, remember the good times and know that they will always be yours. I am the person I am today because of the special people that have come into my life, even if they have passed through, they left their mark on my heart.

  6. 21stcenturymummy November 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    I met a friend when I was 25 and travelling. We soon became best friends, in fact she was probably the best friend I’ve ever had and I thought we’d be best friends for life. Things changed. She got married, had a son and moved out of London. At first, despite her being out of London, we used to speak every day and see each other as much as she could, but then she went through a really bad time and we ended up drifting apart. We had a huge row last year and didn’t speak for a year. We’re back on speaking terms again, but it’s never going to be the same again. I think I expected too much.

  7. Pip November 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    I have had exactly the same happen – really sad! I sort of explain it by the fact she lives in Hong Kong but it is still really sad. However she came back to the UK in the spring and we had lunch with all the children. It was like she had never been away so will always be a true friend.

  8. Sim November 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    That was really beautifully written Henri, like everyone I’ve had close friendships become distant friendships too… and like you I’ve had words of wisdom from Rachel. It wasn’t until I became a mum myself that I realised how different my life now is from my a lot of my friends. With some people, the difference caused a divide and with others we are even closer now even if they don’t have kids themselves.

    Whenever I am mourning a lost friendship it always surprises me how long it takes me to remember all the special friendships I have right now. It’s those friendships, the ones which are special right now, that we shouldn’t forget to treasure – they might be the ones we are mourning 10 years from now – and wishing we’d let those people know just how special they are… are you reading Rachel!

  9. Janelle November 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    Its happened to me too, we moved and we lost contact. it happens. its sad. don’t know what to do about it. we are about to move again but this time i am not sad cause i havn’t made any friends this year… i think i haven’t been open to it, u know, chatting to mums on the school run etc… because i am sad at the friends i have lost. but now i am happy cuase i am going home to two good girl friends.

    ms marketing, your post as always was lovely. xox

  10. Muddling Along November 12, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    If you want to, reach out and re-energise that friendship

    I felt so ill during my last pregnancy that we didn’t see anyone or really tell anyone (especially when we thought we were losing the baby) and so there were a lot of people who first knew I was pregnant when we announced Littler’s birth – it wasn’t that we didn’t want to be in contact it was just that circumstances meant we hadn’t been

    We’ve since made a big effort to get back in touch with people and socialise and most people are happy to catch up – yes some have the hump and don’t understand but we’re happy to let them slide away

    Go on, reach out and send an email / make the call

  11. PurpleRamblings November 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    Know exactly what you mean with this and hope my friend knows I’ll always be here too x

  12. Lady-Like Pervert November 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Awe… I hope Joy reads this and assures you that despite the estrangement, you are in her heart too. We all have that friend.

  13. kelloggsville November 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    I feel exactly the same way about Claire. Well written, you described it so well.

  14. Joy November 30, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    H I love you too and reading this has given me a huge lump in my throat. I am extremely lucky that I have a friend like you, I look forward to seeing you soon and giving you a huge hug!


  15. T-J Hughes December 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    Your words are so true, and I’m not copying, honest! It’s just that I met someone who was my bridesmaid a couple of weeks ago who I hadn’t seen since the wedding. It’s always hurt, and that tug was there when she said “I’ve no idea how we lost contact”, when I know that she didn’t reply. She hadn’t moved, she’d just moved on.

    I’m pleased that we’re now back in contact, but like your sister says, those memories are still precious. However, I do feel that I can stop grieving now and move on. Just need to do the same with my other bridesmaid!

    For my words on this topic

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m pleased I’m not alone!


  1. Love Song for a Friend | Emily's Page - December 22, 2011

    […] to my throat, I also stumbled across this on a similar theme. Marketing to Milk wrote her post Friends for Life? almost a year ago, but I liked it so much I have to share it with you. Her words spoke so directly […]

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