When forever isn’t…

You can’t always hold on to the important people in your life, says our elder.

But you can cherish the time you have together.

Dear EWC:

So, I’ve lost so many people in my life and I have slowly started to realize that people always leave, no matter what. But why do they leave? When someone says ‘forever’, why can’t I believe that they’ll stay?

People have been in and out of my life since I was a baby and my mother left me to be adopted. I’m only 13 years old, and yet, I feel like I’m losing everyone and it’s a sucky feeling because I wish that someone, anyone, would stay for once. On my birthday, a few people left my life and recently I’ve met a lot of new friends and I thought I was okay for like two months. But now my heart is aching to go back to the past because I miss the feeling of someone actually CARING about me.

I’m probably fine and just self-inflicting pain on myself, but how am I supposed to let go? What if I don’t want to let go? I say to everyone whenever they need advice, that it’ll be okay, but what if it’s not okay? What if whenever the memories of people from my past arise, the same suffocating feeling and aching in my chest will never go away? I’m honestly so scared that I’ll never get over them, and my life will just be fall after fall into sadness.

Folk replies:

I understand how you are feeling. I’ve lost a lot of people in my life too, and you’re absolutely right. It does suck. But just because people that we’ve cared about are no longer with us doesn’t mean that the time we had with them and the feelings we shared with them don’t count. We can continue to hold all the people we have ever loved and who have ever loved us in our hearts forever, just like you are doing.

You have learned something very important at a very young age and like many important lessons in life, it is a painful one. You have learned that “forever” does not exist, not with friends, not with relationships, not even with family. You have learned that even if people are in your life today, it doesn’t mean that they will be there tomorrow. It sucks when they leave, but that is on them, not you.

It’s okay to be angry or hurt when this happens. Just because people leave though doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong. Some people just aren’t meant to stay forever. Cherish the people in your life today and make every day that they are there count. Create unforgettable memories that will last you a lifetime. There is nothing wrong with you; there are just always going to be people that leave, and that is okay. You can choose to be sad to see them go, or you can choose to be happy for the time you had together. But if you don’t want your life to be fall after fall to sadness (and I don’t think you do) then let them go and wish them well on their journey. If you are lucky, some of them will eventually return to you and wind up staying. My husband and I have been together for 52 years and are still counting. We have had some hard times, but somehow we managed to get through them by being there for one another.

So, my advice to you is to continue to be there for your friends and family. Even if they leave for a while, they will remember that you cared about them and come back to you when the time is right. I hope this helps. I am always here if you’d like to talk more about this. Please try to write back if you can to let me know how you are feeling. I care about you and will be thinking of you.


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