I’m discovering this year how much it can hurt to “lose” a close friend. Our conversations no longer feel as personal, as connected, and they are few and far between at best. It hurts the most to look back on the past, to remind myself how things have changed. I have written correspondence and memories of important conversations, all showing me just how well we knew and appreciated each other. The unforced candor, unselfconscious joking, and thoughtfulness I find makes my heart ache. In some ways complete loss of contact would be easier than the reality I face: someone who knew me inside out and vice versa feels like a loose acquaintance. I wanted to believe we’d always stay close even upon going to separate colleges, though he warned me against that assumption. And he was right, at least for him. While I still find a place, a hole for his friendship in my life, he seems to have “moved on” – fully absorbed in his studies and activities, finding what he needs in new friends and communities. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But I have a hard time accepting that what seemed like such a lasting friendship should fade in the face of going separate ways.

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