We have all heard that people will move in and out of our lives. Some are taken from us, while others choose to leave us behind. But what do we do when people refuse to allow us to have a life without them?

A person whom I have considered to be a friend for a couple years now informed me that they felt I did not want or need them, so they opted to leave to relieve me of any further obligation.

How do I respond to that? “Forgive me for life getting too busy to speak with you every day?”

I know I am not perfect, nor do I have as much time for every person in my life to get the time they truly deserve from me. But I am only one person, and I do the best that I can. I work a full-time job, as well as trying to work on my second career as a writer. This leaves for little free time, and I am sorry if I choose to spend that with my husband, my immediate family and the friends near by.

I feel…confused. Angry. Hurt. The range of emotions is vast and visceral.

The friend I have known the longest lives only twenty minutes from me and I have not seen her in years. Yet in the moments when we chat via social media, I feel that no time has past since those days of playing with Barbies and jumping rope in the front yard.

So I watch as someone walks out of my life, unable to know just what to say that would help.

Now, if you’re wondering if I had heard from this person prior to this, the answer would sadly be no. Apparently, I must be the one who initiates any conversation and since I did not seek this person out for this past week, then I do not need this person as a friend. Perhaps it was longer than a week, but time is not the issue.

So the question still stands: What makes a friend?

Is it the person who makes you laugh? Who tells you the hard truths? Are they famous, rich and beautiful?

A friend is a person who sees in you the qualities that make us feel human and connected to the world.

If they do not make you feel better with them then you do without them, you do not need them.

But it doesn’t make their departure any less sad.