When I was 25, a good friend broke up with me.
Well, actually she didn’t break up with me, she just disappeared - ghosted me, although we didn’t have that word for it then. She stopped contacting me, and replying to me, until I took the hint and left her alone.
It still hurts.
Watch: We share our relationship deal breakers. Post continues below.
I turn 40 soon and I’m having a big birthday lunch to celebrate. In planning the guest list I’ve found myself reflecting on the significant friendships that have shaped my life - and this friendship was one of them.
Initially, it shaped my life in really special, loving ways - I was a bridesmaid for this friend’s wedding, godmother to her first child, and I supported her through a difficult diagnosis.
Then, after she cut me off, it was significant in the fact that it was painful, and it taught me about the deep pain that can come when you lose a friend.
I knew I wanted to write a piece about the experience of lost friendships and so I put the word out to the Mamamia community asking people to share their stories of friendship breakups or breakdowns.
The response was immense. Close to 50 people contacted me with their stories of heartbreak and confusion due to the loss of a friend. I found my heart breaking for the people who expressed devastation, confusion, sorrow, heartache and deep, unending sadness over the loss of friendships.
I think the reason it hurts so much when a friendship ends is because we reveal so much of ourselves to our friends. They know the good, bad and ugly in deep ways we may not even feel comfortable revealing to a lover or partner.
We’ve often grown up side by side with these friends - they’ve helped us through school days, university exams, first kisses, first loves, family breakdowns, and we’ve born witness to all of that for them too.