There are so many different types of losses and grief that we all experience in our lives. The grief of losing a loved one due to death. The loss that comes with marriages or relationships ending. Parents often talk about the metaphorical loss of themselves when they become parents.
Two little girls in matching outfits showed up in my Facebook memories today and reminded me of another important kind of loss. A loss that seems to be less popular to discuss but that so many experience—the ambiguous losses our children face due to our adult friendships ending for whatever reasons.
I once had a “best friend” cut me out of her life for the most unnecessary, immature, and unjustifiable reasons imaginable. Despite my numerous attempts to communicate with her maturely and reasonably, she still completely ended our friendship.
She put the cherry on the end of our years together by deleting me off her social media after I posted a meme that had nothing to do with her or our situation whatsoever. Leaving me with nothing but a handmade diaper cake I never got to give her and a web of compulsive lies and rumors that I now get the pleasure of hearing about myself.
I honestly have no problem overlooking and moving on from that type of nonsense, but what I will never overlook is what it did to our children. Not only did she choose to irrationally and permanently end our friendship, she chose to erase what should have been future generations of not only close friends but family as well.
Now our children will never have another play date or slumber party, and their minds will never be able to understand why those abruptly stopped. They’ll go to the same school and never know each other. They’ll become complete strangers except for foggy memories that will diminish over time.
Our children will participate in the same extracurricular activities and sports and never personally support or cheer for each other. Our little girls will never wear matching outfits or smell flowers together again.
Our sons will never wear matching shirts or play catch together. We’ll never exchange another birthday or holiday gift. Our children will never even see each other on holidays or birthdays ever again. They’ll bloom into handsome and beautiful adults someday who don’t even know each other’s names.
So many losses are unfortunately inevitable, but making conscious choices that needlessly result in the death of our children’s otherwise sacred friendships may be one of the most heartbreaking ones.
Yet, it’s become such a normal occurrence for a majority of people in today’s world. In a society that feeds on drama and “unfollow” buttons, consider the consequences that actually exist behind the scenes and impact our children’s futures when choices like that are impulsively made.
I’m not saying all friendships should be or can be resurrected, but do yourself and your children a favor, the next time your irrational emotions want you to click the “unfriend” button, promise me you’ll think twice about how necessary it is to put your children through a loss of that magnitude, especially if there’s no legitimate rhyme or reason for it.
If it’s truly justified and worth it, so be it. Otherwise, bury your differences and protect your children’s precious friendships at all costs. And let them continue to smell the flowers and play catch together in matching outfits. Those little girls and boys will grow up and be grateful someday.