I've lost friends. Not in the sense that I've had friends die (thank goodness), but in the sense that people who were a huge part of me and who had been my best friends for the majority of my life became strangers.
Well, for Christmas I got the fifth season of "True Blood" and I watched the episode last night where a character asked to have his memory of his best friend and his ex-girlfriend wiped so that he no longer had to deal with the hurt they had caused him. It reminded me a lot of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind when a couple had the memories of each other wiped from their minds after their relationship ended badly.
And it made me think, if I could, would I wipe my then friends, now strangers from my memory?
I don't think I would.
Not because I still want to be friends with them, because some times friends take different paths and grow apart. But because I don't want to forget what our lives used to be like together.
The laughs, inside jokes, the people they were, and I was when we were still friends - all those things shaped me into what I am. I learned lessons along the road during our friendship, I also learned some through the loss of our friendship too.
Don't get me wrong. It still hurts to think about them. Birthdays pass, special occasions, engagements, weddings, showers and births, and I pretend they aren't happening. I ignore the "Wish insert name here a Happy Birthday" message on Facebook, or pretend like I don't see the pictures from showers and parties.
I could be the bigger person. What if I just called them up and said, "I forgive you and I apologize for all things I said and did too". But I don't, because I am not sure if any of us even know where or when the friendship ended.
I realize too that I don't know the people they've become and they don't know me either. They're not the only ones to blame, I changed too. In fact, I probably changed the most. I am not the person I was when we were friends.
We are in a strange limbo between no longer friends and not quite enemies. Hurtful things were said, mean things happened, and the result was this strange space between us. But despite the way it ended, I will never forget happier moments we shared in the 20 some years we were best friends.
In the end, I still have an amazing group of friends with whom there is no limbo space.
I have my tailgate crew....
And my hometown girls...
And while there is still a part of me that longs for the connection I had with the friends I lost, I know that in the end, I am more than blessed with the friendships I have.