Have you ever been hit with a wave of nostalgia seemingly out of nowhere? You might be doing your assignment, working on a project, or even listening to music, and suddenly you start thinking about that old friend you drifted away from when life got busy, the one whose friendship you treasured and protected. It’s an open secret among all of us — the grief of all those friendships that just waned and the friends you never got to say goodbye to as the ‘see you tomorrow’ transversed into ‘it’s been a long time.’
I’ve always been a sentimental person. When I shifted to Delhi for college, I knew I would carry my “memory box,” as I call it, with me. I seldom open it, but it’s my treasure trove. From shaky polaroids to silly notes exchanged during school classes, the box has it all. I recently opened it after a long time and the mementos brought with them the bittersweet feeling of wistfulness I knew all too well.
It’s only human to grow apart from people as you enter new phases of life — intense friendships forged in the fire of childhood flicker away into something quieter. You become acquaintances, keeping up with each other through social media and those rare texts. A lot has been said about these old friendships, articles upon articles on how to tell if you’re growing apart (if you’re searching that on the internet, isn’t that a sign already?) and how to deal with this distance, and art — songs, poems, stories — talk about the feelings that come with it.
So it goes, your memory becomes a funeral, the conversations you shared with them a eulogy. You’ll see pieces of them in every person you meet and they’ll always know how you like your tea, and you’ll wonder if their laugh will still feel like home. If this grief ever comes to you, treat it gently, for it is all the love you have stored in your heart that you never got to express. And hey, send the occasional text, because drifting away from friends might be bitter, but reconnecting with them is just as sweet.