Romantic relationships can be quite difficult to uphold. They require patience and sacrifice and sometimes you reap more than you sow. And the emotional toll of losing a partner is undoubtedly very great, no matter who you are. But what people don't typically discuss in the media or personally, is the emotional toll when you lose a friend. In our society the idea of a friendship has been cultivated into a demotion from a romantic relationship, that it isn't as close of a bond and it isn't as important as that of a relationship. But in actuality, a friendship is not a lesser bond than a relationship, nor is it a better one. They are two separate things, however losing a friend is much like losing a partner - and is something that isn't as nearly touched upon today.
Losing a friend is much like losing a part of yourself. Unlike a breakup in a relationship, some friendships can end just simply because life gets in the way. Maybe you started attending different schools or maybe your schedules didn't allow for much time together. This drifting apart can sometimes be the worst way to lose a friend; maybe you're dying to see them but don't know if they feel the same simply because the lack of contact. Losing a friend can also be like a messy breakup, where a fight ends it all, and no matter how mad you were and how long you've held the grudge, there's still a part of you that wishes to be in their bedroom again laughing over school gossip or doing each other's makeup. Either way, nothing can prepare you for the loss of a friend. If it's just simply because you've drifted away, the constant questioning from parents of what they're up to nowadays can feel like your heart being ripped out. If it's because of a fight too great to make amends, the thoughts of how it was before in the back of your mind can be suffocating. And if it is simply because they became a new person that you didn't see yourself being friends with, the longing for who they were becomes overwhelming.
Sometimes losing a friend can be the best thing to happen to you. I have lost so many best friends throughout my life that have turned out to be some of the reasons I was unhappy. And while cutting toxic friendships can end up leading to a happier life, sometimes these friendships aren't toxic, and that's what makes it so hard. Nobody prepares you for the loss of a friend. People go into relationships prepared for the fact that they may break up after some time. Some relationships begin with the agreement to breakup at a certain time, due to circumstances like college or jobs cutting in. But I don't think I have met anyone who has walked into a friendship expecting it to end at some point. And that is what makes it so hard. Everyone is convinced that the people they are surrounded with will be their "best friends forever." While people can remain friends, as we grow older and begin to form families and careers, the simple time for friendships becomes increasingly low, although many peoples hopes to remain great friends forever is increasingly high.
We are never prepared to lose a friend. Nothing is certain in this world, but we choose to see friendships as forever, as set in stone, and this is the biggest thing that makes losing a friendship so hard. The emotional toll of losing a best friend to work, to partners, to college, or just to life can be extremely ruinous, and no one ever really prepares us for that kind of hurt.