Snapshots capture a moment. Whether it is fun or sad, the moment in the photo is frozen in place, forever. But life isn’t a photograph.
As we have written in earlier posts, how we started our journey in the Lifestyle by accident, having been seduced by a couple who were our very close friends. The familiarity and closeness between us that eventually led to adventures in the bedroom only seemed a natural extension of our friendship. But as we think back to the start of our journey, we never would have thought that most of our closest friends would be friends with benefits.
Throughout life we meet people we like. Whether it is at a party or the occasional hot hook-ups at clubs or one-offs on vacation. But “making friends” is about chemistry. In chemistry, where compounds are held together by bonds between elements and molecules friendships are held together by bonds between individuals and couples. But as in chemistry some bonds break and the compound falls apart, in friendships, sometimes the bonds break and the relationship falls apart.
We all have experienced, as close as you may be to some folks, over time some friends just drift away. The drift may be because you find that in time you have less in common with them or kids grow up or change schools and you see them less. You realize that the kids kept the friendship together. Other times friends and lovers may drift for no apparent reason. We experienced this with our friends who led us through the gateway into ethical non-monogamy. For reasons we can only guess, they have distanced themselves from us. We haven’t seen them in years and almost never hear from them. Dealing with this has been hard, but you try to rationalize it and move on with life.
But what is much harder is when friends are taken from us. And it can be sudden. Death and illness knows no bounds. We recently lost a close friend who died following what appeared to be a minor accident. We are still coming to terms with the fact that he is gone … forever. Recently, a LS podcaster died suddenly. Relatively young, he left behind a beautiful family. The podcast that he and his wife produced was engaging and not afraid to delve into some touchy topics in the LS. Though we didn’t know him personally, between listening to the podcast and having mutual friends we felt connected. But now we will never have a chance to meet him.
The loss of a friend is always painful, but is the sudden loss more painful than watching a friend die slowly? Another close friend of ours is slowly dying of a neurodegenerative disease. Long before the onset of his illness we had played with him and his wife and though that part of our friendship long ago ended we remained ever-so-close and would see them often. Now that we live a three-hour plane ride from them, we only see them a few times a year but talk weekly. He is in at-home hospice and hearing about his slow decline is very painful. The snapshot of how he was and seeing him now really forces you to think about life through a different lens.
When you make new friends particularly friends with benefits, there is always a strong aura from the “new relationship energy.” But when friendships end, whether it is your choice or not, some of that energy remains along with the snapshots. And with those snapshots the memories will live forever.
May the memory of our lost friends only bring us smiles.
Donna and Alex