True Friendships Never Die - You Can Reunite Anytime
This true story reveals how to welcome long lost friends back in our lives when paths cross unexpectedly.
Things happen that can cause people who once cared for one another to stop communicating and lose touch.
Good friends are hard to come by and when they are good people it’s a shame to let them go.
I've learned that if they are true friends, they will make every effort to rekindle the friendship when given the chance.
It's important to know how to reconnect when the opportunity presents itself, because your paths may cross when you least expect it.
Sometimes it takes an extreme event to bring old friends back together. The story that follows will show you how to take advantage of these moments.
I never imagined that the way I would be reunited with two lost friends would be at a funeral.
Miscommunication Can Damage a Friendship
This first example is about friend I lost because of a failure to communicate. We met in the mid 90’s and we had a lot in common. We both liked the outdoors. We liked to lead healthy lives. We were both single and eager to find a good woman to settle down with. We had different backgrounds but we respected our differing attitudes towards life.
We were also both creative people, and that creativity inspired one another to get involved with various experiences. We shared a lot of information. If one of us would discover a new way to invest in stocks, for example, it was fun sharing that information with the other. If either of us found something on the Internet that might be helpful, we’d share it with the other. We were always available to one another should the other need help with anything that came up.
What went wrong?
I was in a social group run by a mutual friend where we organized hikes, trips to museums, and social activities around town.
I invited my friend to join the rest of us at one of our events. Everyone saw that he was a fellow of great esteem. The kind of person we all welcomed into the group.
One day my friend asked me to remove him from the mailing list because he didn’t want to have anything to do with the group anymore. He never made it clear to me what was on his mind. I took it to mean that he no longer wanted to be friends with anyone in the group, including me.
I removed him from the mailing list as he had requested, and from that day on we hardly spoke. I can’t remember when exactly the phone calls stopped. But it grinded to a halt and it was like we were no longer friends. I didn’t call him and he never called me. It stopped on both ends.
The strange thing is that others in the group continued to invite him to parties and he would accept. I know because I saw him at these parties. That confused me even more about his intentions. I had no idea what he really wanted. Was it just a passing phase that he didn’t want to be involved anymore with our circle of friends? I never asked him and we never spoke about it whenever we ran into one another. We just acted congenial whenever we met.
Respecting the Wishes of a Friend Who Needs Space
I had a second friend who I had met in our social group several years earlier. He had dated one woman in the group and she invited him to join the rest of us on a hike.
He was very sociable, friendly and intelligent (Three reasons why everyone welcomed him into the group).
As I got to know him through various social events, we became very good friends. I discovered that he was a very caring person toward his family as well as towards all his friends and acquaintances.
What went wrong?
He was going through a difficult time in his life and once he sent me an email stating that he no longer wanted to be contacted.
Well, when someone says they don’t want to be my friend, I leave them alone. I did however leave an open door for him by replying to his e-mail with a short simple statement stating that should he ever want to communicate, I’d be there. He never called. Other friends have said they ran into him at one place or another. But he never called and I respected his wishes.
One day a mutual friend told me that he said he saw me at a concert. He told her I looked right at him and didn’t say hello. The crazy thing is that I wasn’t at any concerts recently.
That left me wondering what was on his mind. I thought about calling him. But I remembered his request to not be contacted. And anyway, I had left the door open should he want to reply someday. Since he didn’t, I decided to let it go. It was obvious to me that he had seen someone who looked like me.
I have no idea how far away this person was from him, but I imagine he mistook him for me since it must have been a distance in the bleaches or whatever it was.
You Never Know Where You'll Meet Again
We are all getting older and life is short. One by one, we all are losing our beloved family members. It's at times like this when we remember lost friends who are still alive and imagine ways how to find an old friend.
Suddenly the mother of a wonderful friend of mine had passed away. She was struggling with her Mom's poor health for quite some time. Recently she had moved her parents closer so that she could take better care of them since they were both in poor health.
I had attended the memorial service and as I was consoling her, I noticed my two long lost friends way back on the other side of the room. Finding old friends under these circumstances was the last thing I would have thought of.
When I had my chance, I worked my way through the room to the other side where they were standing and I said hello.
We chatted for over an hour about all the latest things that were happening in our lives. There was so much to share. Good things, bad things. Wonderful things. Terrible things. Losses. Major losses. Lost loves and health issues that we all deal with from time to time. We were catching up but most of all, we were bonding again. Friends bonding at a funeral. Imagine!
Our mutual friend, the one who's mother died, overheard when we were stating our intentions to one another about making an effort at rekindling the friendship. She was in a state of grief and yet she was pleased to overhear our discussion. For it was she, and she alone, who kept in contact with all of us lost soles.
We all showed obvious interest in one another. We asked questions and listened intently to the answers. Both of these good friends showed a sincere interest in my life and I was glad to finally have the opportunity to ask them what was going on in their lives.
What I learned from all this...
We sometimes misjudge or misinterpret the reasons for other people’s actions. We may think we know it all and fall into a bind as we think they are being silly. Or worse...we take it personally. But I assure you they have their reasons and it may not always be as it appears on the surface. Sometimes we just need to accept the decisions others make and not feel threatened by it and not shut them out. Of course it was a two-way street, either of us could have called the other if we had wanted to.
We will find the friends we lost someday just by continuing to be out there in the world. Helping other friends, going to social affairs, and attending functions that may not be pleasant but important to another friend. You'll never know when your paths cross again. It's a small world.
A well-known saying that I'm sure you know... "You can select your friends, but you can’t select your family." That’s why it’s so important to hold on to your good friends and don’t let miscommunication destroy good friendships. I can add my own quote about friendship now... "True Friendships never die."
© 2010 Glenn Stok
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