Feel so sad

I wrote a couple of months ago about my friend moving away. As it happens, she didn’t go just then. They couldn’t get the kids into school straight away, so they came back for half a term. Which was great.

But did I see much of her? Not really. Did I make the most of her being there? No. I never did see that much of her, but I always knew she was there if I wanted to see her. Sometimes we would go weeks without seeing each other, sometimes we would see each other three times on the same day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t want to see her, because I did. But there’s never much time. That same old story…

But did my kids see them? Yes, they did. And I’m so pleased about that. The boys got to spend lots of time with their friends.

But now she really is going and I feel so sad. I feel mixed up because I want to tell her I’m sorry to see her go, but I’m concentrating more on the ‘you’ll be fine, you made loads of friends here, you’ll make loads of friends there’ message. Which is all totally true.

She was my best friend for a while. But I’m not the best at being a best friend. I have too many kids, too little time. Having a husband who isn’t around all the time means you can’t just drop everything for impromptu time with a friend. Because you have to think about the kids. And, actually, I’m just not as warm and friendly as my friend. She has SO MANY friends and so many people warm to her. She moved on from me to another best friend and another and another. She is able to accommodate them all in her life and I’m just not like that. I have a handful of friends and have always spent a lot of time just me and the kids. We’ve never been into the hanging out with other families thing that most people do.

But if that’s what you choose, it means that you’re never anyone’s first choice as a friend. I’m always second, third, fourth…

I”m writing this after a farewell lunch for my friend and there is a big heavy cloud of sadness hanging over me. There were lots of women there, women with tears in their eyes, all sorry to see her go. But they don’t know her as well as me. A couple of them do – the best friends who came after me. I’m too sad to have tears in my eyes. I will do my crying in the privacy of my own home.

For me, for the kids, for being a crap friend, for not being anybody’s best friend.

I am just very, very sad and I’m struggling to even explain why. My friend is moving away. My sons’ friends are moving away. I haven’t been a brilliant friend. I’m never a brilliant friend to anyone. I don’t have that lovely warm way about me of being a friend.

I’d like to be a good friend and have a good friend.

I wrote this a week ago and didn’t post it. I considered hitting delete because it all felt too raw. My friend finally left this afternoon. I’ve seen lots of her in the last week, hugged her, cried with her and told her I’m sorry to see them all go. I feel better that I’ve done that, but still sad that she’s gone.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. My best friend lives in Australia. We have been best friends for nearly 40 years. We talk on the phone and email a lot. When we see each other, it feels like she just lives next door.

    I hope you don’t feel that you’ve lost your friend forever x.

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  2. Friendship is a funny thing, not sure how many of us ever get it ‘right’. I decided ages ago that it was best not to have one best friend, I much prefer to have a network of friends who I have really strong relationships with. But that also means I can dip in and out of seeing everyone, I never feel obliged, so it’s always genuine when we do meet up. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you are who you are and from what I read on this blog, who you are is just fine xx

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  3. It’s great that you spent lots of time together this week and told her how you feel. With Skype and social media being what it is you’ll always be in touch. It’s never too late to put yourself out there and make friends. Sending you hugs x

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  4. I could have written a post exactly like this last year. My best friend moved away and I have yet to make a friend like her. I’m sure we were only close friends because she made it happen, I’m not that great at building friendships either. There’s not much point to this comment other than to say I know how you feel, and I’m sorry you feel that way. I hope you can stay in touch with this friend and that you have better luck than me at making a new close friend xx

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  5. You’re my best work friend, if that counts! 🙂 xxxx

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  6. Aw I’m so sorry that your friend has gone, that must be tough. The best friend thing does change as you get older as life is just too busy. I don’t have a best friend as such but I have close friends and that is okay with me, my hubby is probably my best friend now (when he’s not annoying me!). I think you’re lovely and you shouldn’t put yourself down so much.

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  7. Its so hard trying to juggle everything and I am sure your friend totally undersrands this. Its great you got talk and see her properly before they went. I am a bit like and although I have many friends, just not one true best friend.

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  8. Friendships are tricky but it sounds to me like you’re being way too hard on yourself. You are who you are-plenty good enough from what I can see.

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  9. This must be really tough…If it is any consolation…my closest friends are scattered all over the world but we are still very close!

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  10. I’m so sorry your friend has moved. And, I can completely relate to this post – it’s actually made me feel a bit better to hear someone else say it all out loud. I am a good friend, but I don’t make friends easily, and I don’t live in friends pockets. I’m quite happy in my own company. But, that can be lonely at times and, like you I don’t have a best friend. Don’t be too hard on yourself – the very fact that you worry about it, and are conscious of who you are, says to me that you are a thoughtful friend, and those are worth their weight in gold xx

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  11. Don’t be sad lovely, you’ve obviously been thinking about her a lot. That’s what matters. It’s not easy dropping everything as the children will always come first. Must be tough but don’t be too hard on yourself. The fact you’ve written this post shows you really care 🙂

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  12. I’m glad you spent some time with your friend before you left. I’m a crap best friend. My best friend moved to moved to the other end of the country a couple of years ago. She has moved on with her friends, . I haven’t and i miss her maybe I’ll blog about it one day.

    (((((hugs))))) xxx

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  13. Thanks very much for your lovely comments, everyone. I really appreciate them. I am so pleased I did get the chance to talk to her a bit before she left, it made me feel a bit better. It’s good to know there are other crap friends out there too! I wonder if we’re actually in the majority, but sometimes it seems like everyone has really close friends who live in each other’s pockets and do everything together.
    Lesley – I’m so impressed that you’ve stayed close to your friend after all this time. My friend from uni and me are a bit like this. I think we went 4 or 5 years without seeing her, yet when I did nothing had changed.
    Jess – it’s nice to know you understand, but not nice for you to have gone through it too 🙁
    Nicky and everyone who’s said nice things about me – that is really lovely and I really appreciate it!
    Dawn – let me know if you ever blog about it, I would be interested to read.

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  14. Oh Sarah, I’m sorry you’re missing your friend and also sorry that you feel so sad. I’ve had to say many goodbyes in my life (one of the not so nice parts of being an expat) and it never gets any easier. I’m not a person that likes to have an endless list of friends, I prefer a few good ones, and when you have to say goodbye, it’s hard and you feel the gap in your life even if you didn’t see them everyday. It will pass and you will make new friends. It doesn’t have to be straight away but it will happen xx

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  15. I read this last night but got too teary to comment, I take it this is the emotional post we were tweeting about. I have to say I honestly felt every single word. I have an old family friend, also living here in Toronto and she will be going back to England in the Spring. She, like your friend, is the only one that really knows me (within a three thousand mile radius anyway) and while I’m being very supportive and trying to give her good advice on moving back I can’t bare the thought of her going.
    I know exactly how you feel xx

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  16. Thanks very much, ladies. It must be especially hard as ex-pats – you must have to say goodbye to far more people.
    This is the post we tweeted about, Lou! Sorry if it made you teary. I was going to delete it, but you inspired me. I know that emotional posts get a good reaction and there’s nothing wrong with writing these things sometimes – it’s all part of life and being honest about how we feel.
    Really sorry to hear about your friend moving away – that must be incredibly hard. I’m still in my home village with my family round the corner! x

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  17. I know how you feel with my friend moving soon too. We never saw each other enough and now she’s going 🙁 I am hoping the wonders of things like whatsapp will keep us in touch regularly. People should stop moving so far away 😉

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  18. It’s so sad, isn’t it, Tas? It’s hard spending as much time with people as you’d like – and even harder when you know they’re not there any more! 🙁

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  19. And now you’ve made me sad! I think friendship is such a tough thing and some people just seem to do it better than others. It’s really hard to keep up with people as our kids get busier lives but a true friend will always be there, no matter what. Even if they are miles and miles away. It’s the comfort of knowing they’re round the corner though, isn’t it? Just in case you need them. I’m sure your kids will miss them dreadfully 🙁 Sorry to read this. x

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  20. Thanks very much, Suzanne, and sorry to make you feel sad too! My friend is very good at friendship – she knows so many people and is such a good friend to all of them. I’m sure we will stay in touch, she’s desperate for us to visit! I think it will hit the kids hard at some point, but they’ve been OK for far. x

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