The joy of rekindled friendship

By Caitlin Kelly


One of my Twitter friends — an archaeologist in Berlin — and I tweet RHPS lyrics to one another. Because…friendship!


Few moments are sadder than a friendship’s abrupt and unforeseeen end — through anger, misunderstanding, a conflict no one is willing or able to resolve, a moment of no return when no one, (as the British say), will grasp the nettle and get through a tough moment to the other side.

A true friendship means creating and nurturing deep intimacy, sharing secrets (and trusting those will be held tightly for decades), daring to reveal your weaknesses and flaws along with your utter fabulousness.

One of the many lovely people I’ve met through my blog (!) — Mallory Guinee, with me in Paris in January 2015

A true friend — in my world — is someone who knows you really well and loves you anyway.

Some people come from tight, loving, intact families and, as a result, perhaps have much less need of friendship. They know they can count on parents, siblings, grandparents, even cousins, for moral support throughout life’s ups and downs, and sometimes even receive financial help.

If you emerge from a family like mine, poisoned by estrangement, friends are family, the people you learn to turn to first and always.

They’re the ones who walk uphill in a blizzard to get you to the hospital at 6 a.m. for knee surgery and who stop you from falling head-first into the bathroom door as you emerge from  anesthesia.


The ones who sit with you as you weep through hearing the sound of bagpipes for the first time since they marked your marriage, now ended.

The ones who know your dogs’ names and the man who broke your heart and the woman you dreamed of becoming .

They never forget your birthday.

You know their parents and their siblings and how they’re all doing.

Losing one of these friends is a terrible loss, and one not quickly or easily replaced.


Some friendships outgrow their time and not all of them are meant to last.

But I hate it when someone I really enjoy suddenly disappears from my life, which has happened a few times.

After trying to talk through some troubling (to me) behavioral patterns, I lost three friends in rapid succession about a decade ago, all of them women I had hoped would be friends for many years to come, but they’re gone, and they’re gone for good.

I don’t regret it now, although it’s not been quick or easy to replace them.

At a recent wedding of a friend, I knew I would run into a younger woman I’d been close with about a decade ago, and — after a silly falling-out  — we had not spoken since then. We had met through that mutual friend, who kept me up to date for years on K’s progress through life and how, since our fight, she had since found all sorts of happiness.

My best friend, my husband, Jose

I knew she was now married, with a baby.

And she was there, glowing, with her handsome husband and photos of her lovely new baby on her phone.

I said a nervous hello, and it was, thankfully, an instant of hugs and reconciliation.

And how very glad I was.


Have you lost — and later re-made — a friendship?

8 thoughts on “The joy of rekindled friendship

  1. I think of friends as the family you get to choose:). I think all friendships go through cycles. And some are meant to end. I find that most friendships lost cannot be rekindled for me. They’ve run their course. But I am so glad you have found differently. I bet that was a true joy . . .

  2. i agree and understand all of this, and i’m glad this had a happy ending for you. your timing is great, as i’m going through a breakup with my love/best friend at the moment, and it is a sort of grieving process, just like any loss or death. you are lucky to have married your best friend, and i know there is more in the future for me, even if not with the man i imagined i would be sharing it with. nothing bad, just both wanted different things at this point, but sad none the less. happy i’m heading off on a few travel adventures this summer –

    1. Oh, no. I am so sorry to read this!

      Jose and I fought like crazy for years, and I didn’t think we’d make it…but after we finally decided to trust one another (2 tough old journos), it’s been a good match. I do think it’s more challenging to meet/marry/stay together long-term as we get older and have less desire to adapt or accommodate.

      Hugs to you from NY…and hoping your travel adventures are refreshing to your soul.

  3. Yes. After 17 years of silence, we agreed to meet for a coffee when I was in his town. Our first encounter, years after, was very cold, but both of us discovered how loyal and patient we were. And we decided to see each other again whenever he was visiting my town or I was visiting his. I thought I lost him forever. He used to be my best friend. It took us time to rekindle the friendship. But we are best friends again.

    1. I’m heartened to hear this! Thanks for sharing your experience. It does take two to reconcile, I think.

      I know it seems like “too much work” for many people and they either easily and quickly replace those friends, or maybe just have less desire for such friends at all.

      They are important to me. I have no children or grand-children and after my parents die, my friends will very much be my family, if I am lucky enough to have a few still.

  4. Pingback: Friendships: some true, some toxic | Broadside

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