What to do when your best friend moves away

prettyndsweet12 asks: My best friend moved today and it made me sad and I’m crying. How can I learn to cope with her being gone? She was my best friend, and school just doesn’t seem right without her.

Hi prettyndsweet12 –



Losing a best friend is always awful.  Whether it’s from an argument, or them moving away, or them being badly hurt, it’s guaranteed to make you feel terrible.  After all, how many things do we value as much as a best friend?  I hate it when I get a piece of chicken and Handsome pulls it out of my mouth (in fear the bones will splinter in my throat), but I get over it.  But some things are irreplaceable.  And Family and Friends top the list.


I’m not going to even begin to try to talk you out of these feelings, prettyndsweet12.  You are RIGHT to feel just as sad as you do.  That’s a sign of the love you have for her.  To not feel that way would mean you didn’t really feel all you did, and that you’re not really who you are!  You’re RIGHT that school doesn’t feel the same without her.  It’s not the same!


The truth is, though, that life moves on.  And you will move on too.  After a while, you’ll find school easier to take.  You’ll have other friends, and start to find some things enjoyable, and life will begin to feel full again.


But not yet.  So let yourself grieve.  Let the world feel off-center.  Let those days come when no colors are as strong as you remember them being when she was around.  Go for a while without being able to laugh the way you used to.  Miss her like crazy.  It’s okay.


You are very lucky, though, prettyndsweet12, in one thing.  Which is that you live today.  Imagine what happened when, say, your great-great-grandmother’s best friend moved away.  They might write each other letters every few weeks or so, but that’d be it.  Then when your grandmother’s best friend moved away, they could talk on the phone sometimes.  But you?  You live in the age of email, Facebook, Skype… you can really still have a lot of contact with your friend.


But I know, it’s not the same.  It can’t be.  This was the person you shared everything with, in the same place at the same time.  You could giggle at the same silly stuff, get mad at the same people, love the same people, study for the same tests together… all that.  And yes, you and she won’t have that.


So cry.  Write a sad poem or song.  Or best yet, do what I do and howl at the sky.


But don’t feel hopeless.  Because you have loved.  And she has loved.  And therefore you both know you will love again.  And as you get older, you’ll change, and you’ll find new interests and new tastes, and make new sorts of friends who are different from the friends you have now, and different from each other’s new friends – just as you might have if she’d still been around.  It’s okay.


But then you’ll meet up with her again, sometime, somewhere.  And when you do, the most amazing thing will happen.  At first, you’ll feel odd with each other, like you don’t really know who each other is anymore.  But then, suddenly, a moment will happen, and you’ll be You Two again.  It’ll feel like it used to, and you’ll share laughter and stories and love… and just for a while, it’ll be like she never moved away, and life stayed the same.


And that, prettyndsweet12, is what it means to have a heart.  It breaks, and it’s repaired, and it grows, and it continues to love.  And that is pure magic.


And that magic NEVER has to move away!


All my best,




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Leave a Reply 2 comments

sofia - December 26, 2014 Reply

My best friend moved away!! I don’t know what to do!! Life isn’t the same. Neither is school! I am so sad I cry myself to sleep. She’s my bff – no one can replace her, but now she’s gone !!! And I’m so sad!! Can you help me??

    Shirelle - December 27, 2014 Reply

    Oh I’d love to help, but I can only suggest all the things I said to prettyndsweet12. Except one — there is one other possible way to bring someone into your life who, while they’re never the same as that great friend you’d had, might make you feel almost as good – and in some ways better. Have you ever considered getting one of us? A dog? We’re the nicest, most loyal friends, and we’ll stick around you as much as you let us, for as long as we’re able! But outside of that, as I told prettyndsweet12, just make sure you let yourself feel all you’re feeling. And it will get better, I promise.

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