"Friends are the family we choose for ourselves." This quote echoes around society today, and is a statement many people relate to. Friends are a crucial part of the support system in our lives, and it's hard to imagine life without them. But as life takes its course, our relationships are bound to change. So what do we do when a close friend moves away?
Remember to Support Them
One person to another may have completely different feelings about moving. Emotions can be all over the spectrum, but your response to your friend's emotions should be the same. Regardless of your friend's situation, you should remain supportive and uplifting. There are many different ways to do this, but whether supporting them practically or emotionally, remain someone they can always depend on.
Moving is an overwhelming process, and your friend will need help with the practical steps, such as where to find boxes, renting a moving van, packing their things, and so forth. The moving process is certainly not a one-person job, and there are many ways that you can help! The biggest job in a move is packing. While your friend might not want you going through their personal items, boxes need labeling and taped-not an easy job for one person! Another way to practically support a friend during the moving process is to help them with daily needs that may be harder for them to take care of now. Offering to bring their family dinner, watch their little siblings for a couple hours, or help clean are places to start. Even by supporting their family as a whole, practically supporting a friend lets them know you are there.
However, moving to a new place is scary, and you need to emotionally support your friend during this time as well. Your friend may feel very alone on this new journey-navigating a new school, sports team, and city. However, you can provide them with some comfort by being a listening ear. Moving inevitably comes with some anxiety and dread, and it's always helpful to have someone who will listen. If your friend wants to talk, take the time to call or come over to be there for them. If they don't say anything, don't be shy to reach out! Even if they don't want to talk, they will appreciate the thought. However, while your friend takes first priority during this time, their move may hit you just as hard.
Take Time For Yourself
The emotional impact of your friend's move hits not only them, but you as well. Although they are the one that has to adjust to a new life, you have to adjust your life to one without them. This is a major change for you as well, and you need to take time for yourself. First, allow yourself to feel your feelings. As cheesy as it may be, find a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to, or simply spend time in your room listening to lofi. Feeling your feelings in the moment is necessary, but eventually you need to move on.
Although it may be a little harsh to think of it like "replacing" your friend, be open to acquaintances, and find new people to hang out with. Even someone you feel has nothing in common with you could end up being one of your closest buddies. This is especially helpful when trying to fill up time you used to spend with your friend. For example, if you and your friend used to have a sleepover every Saturday night, Saturday nights could turn into a sad time for you, with lingering memories of all the fun you used to have. However, it doesn't need to stay that way. Saturday nights could turn into a movie night, or reach out to your neighbor who you never really got to know for ice cream!
Create Memories Final Together
While it is important to keep an open mindset about new people, your friend will always be a staple in your life, and one you don't want to forget. In your last weeks together, take the time and energy to make plans-and do something outside of just going to their house! Create a fun memory by going to the fair, vibing at a concert, or going to a water park. Not only will this be a fun last memory for you, but it will let your friend know that they are still appreciated and not being kicked out of your life.
Another way to keep memories of your friend would be to create a memento. A basic but loving way to do this would be to create a picture frame. This is something that both you and your friend could keep for a lifetime. If you have known each other for awhile, another option would be to put together a photo album. Whenever you are missing each other, you can pull out the album to relive memories throughout the years. This does not have to be expensive either-creating a digital album is a great alternative! Whatever you choose, a memento of your friendship will be greatly appreciated by your friend.
Make Plans To Stay In Touch
Just because you can't be together in person doesn't mean that you can't be involved in each other's lives! Make plans to stay in touch-if Sundays were your special day together, they could still be! Agree to play video games together on Sundays, or FaceTime when you are both free. If your friend is not moving too far away, you could make plans to meet up and see each other in person over the summer. In the meantime, with the help of technology, it's easy to stay in each other's lives!
While moving can be a sad time for both you and your friend, it can also be a time of enjoying and remembering each other. By supporting one another, taking time for yourself, and creating final memories together, your friend's move can happen can happily as possible.