Originally featured on Odyssey
You can't replace the best people that ever happened to walk into your life. Finding friends that mesh completely and gracefully into your life is probably just as difficult as finding that person you can spend the rest of your life with. You can have thousands of friends over the years, but you won't always have friends that feed your soul and that can stick with you through anything and everything.
Those friends are sometimes few and far between. Who knows, maybe they don't always exist for everyone. But what happens when you do find these people, love them irrevocably, and then all of a sudden they're gone? You built up a routine and you formed these deep bonds connected through love and acceptance, then for what ever reason, you have to say goodbye to them.
It's normal to go through the classic five stages of grief:
When it comes to friends, an additional step can be added to the process: Replacement. You found such amazing friends before, there has to be more out there, right? So you look and you hang out with new friends more often in the hopes that there's going to be the same spark, love, and borderline unhealthy codependency that you had before. It might work, but it probably wont. Not in the long run.
You can't replace the people that you've lost or don't see as often as you used to. There will never be anyone quite like them and there will never be anyone that can fill their spot in your heart. And that's a good thing.
The interesting thing is that we feel the need to replace someone that has already left their mark on our souls. Instead of trying to find someone to fit their mold, we should let life do what it always does and find us a new friend that will love us differently, but just as fully.
It's okay to feel these losses deeply. It's okay to go through all five/maybe six stages. It's even okay to call your friends in tears because you miss them so much. But don't replace them. Remember all the great things you did together and plan to meet up soon. Don't close yourself off to new and exciting friendships because you're scared that you'll lose them, too. The heartbreak is almost worth it, isn't it?