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Loss of good friends.

(21 Posts)
kassi Sun 14-Feb-16 15:50:28

I'm 65. I have lost 3 good friends to cancer in 2 months, including my very best friend. We were each other's 'go to person'. We shared many confidences, thoughts and feelings without judgement. I have DH, but it's not the same as having a close female friend. I feel quite lost. Is it possible to form new, good close friendships in your sixties?

mumofmadboys Sun 14-Feb-16 16:16:54

Of course it is possible. It is very sad to lose a best friend. In my experience a friend only becomes a good friend when you have known them for a couple of years. Of course I generalise and it depends how much time you spend together and whether you gel quickly and learn to trust each other. But I'm sure you can still do this in your sixties. I hope you make new friends again while your best friend who you have lost still holds a special place in your heart.

grannyqueenie Sun 14-Feb-16 17:11:33

Yes Kassi as mumofmadboys says it is possible. I've had to do that since relocating to another part of the country 7 years ago when I was 58. My old friends are scattered all over the place and although still very important to me, I felt I needed folk locally too. It took a bit of perseverance, emotional energy and investment of time to do this and if I'm honest sometimes it felt like an uphill struggle. But it paid off and now I feel like I have some good pals here. Having lost a very close friend recently I guess you may feel a bit fragile emotionally just now but I hope you'll soon be able to invest in new friendships that in time will also be precious to you. flowers

Jalima Sun 14-Feb-16 17:24:00

I lost my best friend three years ago, very suddenly.
We were in a group of friends but she and I did a lot together and we could discuss anything and know it would be kept in confidence; she was more like a sister.
I have become more friendly with a couple of the other friends, but not as close and have other friends whom I don't see as frequently.

I know just how you are feeling *kassi flowers

specki4eyes Sun 14-Feb-16 20:57:13

Kassi - I know how you feel. It is very hard. I lost my best friend to cancer 6 weeks ago. It's possible to make new best friends in your sixties but there isnt that long link of shared experience down through the years. My friend and I met 46 years ago and brought up our children together - we were neighbours and, at the time, stay at home Mums. I have lots of other friends but she was the one who always, always understood, empathised and gave me total support. But however hard i tried I could not get her to give up smoking.

flowers for our lovely friends

grannyqueenie Sun 14-Feb-16 21:30:14

Yes you're right there's something very special about friends with whom we share a whole host of our significant experiences. My oldest friend who lives many miles away from me now is one of the few folk I'm in touch with these days who knew my parents who are long gone now. I brought up my children amongst other friends, one of whom died very prematurely. There is no substitute for these relationships but new friends have their part to play

mtp123 Mon 15-Feb-16 09:55:22

Sorry to hear of your loss. Perhaps when you are feeling up to it instead of looking for friends (I do not know your circumstances whether you are working or not) you may wish to consider helping a charity, helping at a local school or joining a Women's Group. That way you will mix with different people and help to move on. Nine years ago I retired and moved Counties too at the same time. Like you I am married but my husband said "but what are you going to do?" He knew I had loved my job and would miss the camaraderie. The first invite I was received was from my neighbour who invited me to a WI meeting so I went. I now have lots of friends, act as Secretary and could be out to so many events each month. Hope things go well for you.

radicalnan Mon 15-Feb-16 10:32:11

I miss lost friends too my advice is don't restrict yourself to people who seem like yourself.........lots of people out there looking for a mate, I like young people and they still trickle through my life a lot and am very glad of their companionship, the world is full of fabulous people they never take the place of those special ones we spent our lives on but they are there and they need you as much as you need them.

EmilyHarburn Mon 15-Feb-16 10:39:43

Dear Kassi, Like you I have friends who have died and whom I still miss very much. The friends we made when bringing up children together are very special but it is possible to make friends now.

I have found that you have to make a purposeful effort, and keep it up, if you want to make new friends. First you have to be out and about doing activities you enjoy such as classes at the University of the 3rd Age (U3A), synchronised swimming at the local pool, reading to kids in primary school etc.

Then you have to start networking. I have found that if you just attend things nothing much happens. I keep an address book and a note book in my hand bag. If someone wants to know something, I say I will look for it and get back to them. So they write their email in my note book and I write the date, where I met them and what they want to know. I cannot count how many times people have wanted the name and address of the IT technician who makes home visits. I make sure when emailing that I say how nice it was to meet them etc. and how I hope they will get help etc. If I meet them again I ask after them etc.

From time to time I attend conferences. One on decluttering was very interesting and led to exchange of names and addresses and skype etc. I send Christmas greetings to all my contacts.

I go on holiday to Morocco with a belly dancing teacher. The group are all very interesting people of all ages. I give my email so that people can send me pictures etc.

I work as a volunteer and seek out like minds. I have just invited one to an alumni event at the university where I got my degree.

When ever I am driving somewhere I check out, by looking in my hard copy address book if I will be passing near to a friends house. For example I am attending college for Family History in a market town near me and this takes me near a very long term acquaintance, I have rung her and arranged to call.

As I live in the country, all my friends who actually visit me at home are still able to drive and have cars. I taught one to use a sat nav. She bought one, her daughter borrowed it and did not return it so now she has bought another. She is on holiday abroad at the moment. She still hasn't got to my house yet!!! I text my friends when they are on holiday hoping that they are enjoying themselves and looking forward to catching up when they get back etc. I have various places where I meet up with friends including a monthly meet up with ex work colleagues.

I regularly look through my address book and ring those people I have not had contact with. Recently, after 3 attempts I found the couple had been ill etc. We agreed to meet up when they are feeling better.

Hope you find a person or two who are on the same wavelength and become close friends. All the best.

annifrance Mon 15-Feb-16 11:23:44

Thankfully I have not yet lost any really close friends, but one or two are possibly on 'borrowed time' and I dread their passing.

My group of close friends, about 12, stretch back to early childhood. They are not by any means of the same group but most know each other through me. They have all been there for me during some very hard times and I feel priveleged to have such wonderful friends.

I was 55 when we move to France and knew only one person who I am even more friendly with now than when we were neighbours in England. But I was determined not to be dependant on her for making friends. I quickly discovered that there were some fantastic women here in this backwater, with the same interests, outlook etc so I have made some very wonderful friends in the last 11 years. I am always open to discovering new friendships, being expats we all know a lot of the same people, so now some are a bit more distanced. But I do have a core group who I am very close to. So yes it is possible to make new good and close relationships later in life.

Atrig Mon 15-Feb-16 11:44:54

So glad to be able to share your responses to Kassi. They have made me feel stronger. Like granniequeenie I have relocated at 58 and my old friends are spread around the world so we keep in touch but don't meet up so often. I have been trying to get involved locally to meet new people and am starting to have a little sense of belonging. It is quite hard to make sure you come over just as friendly and not as too needy.

Conni7 Mon 15-Feb-16 11:50:10

I feel I have "lost" two very dear and long-lasting friends, who have Altzheimers. They don't know who I am when I ring up, and I find this very distressing - even more so for their families. You need to join groups of people with similar interests, and you will soon have new friends. Try U3A- lots of nice people and many different groups.

Craftycat Mon 15-Feb-16 11:57:56

I lost my best friend 3 weeks ago. It is worse than losing parents as that is supposed to happen. It has knocked me for six to be honest. I have other friends- of course I do -but no-one who can ever replace her. We all need someone who is the first person you call with good news & also when things are bad and for me that was her.We shared so many experiences both good & awful.
It leaves such a hole in your life & I know it is very early days & the grieving has to happen but I really do not believe there will ever be another person in my life to take her place.
I know how you feel Kassi & I hope you do find that special person again one day but for now I think we both have to recognise that we were lucky to have had such a person in our lives & be grateful for them.

Here's to both our Bessy Mates & ay they be resting in peace.

PPP Mon 15-Feb-16 12:57:35

'Make new friends, but keep the old,
One is silver, one is gold'
Trite but true!

My oldest friend and I started primary school together and we have known each other's families ever since. I have another close friend I was at Uni with, a couple of close friends from when the children were little.

When we retired and started living part of the year abroad, I made friends locally and now class them as good friends, so, yes you can make new friends when you are older. We have just downsized to the suburbs and have discovered lovely neighbours who I am sure will develop into good friends.

But, there is nothing like a friend who has known you all your life and we need to cherish each other in the autumn of our lives because we 'never know the minute' do we?

janepearce6 Mon 15-Feb-16 19:13:08

Shame I don't really live near my old friend, especially my oldest friend - we mar when 11 and we are both 83! But we e-mail!! So many of my friends have died and my sister is miles away but as long as I have my children and theirs 'just down the road', I'm happy!!!

janepearce6 Mon 15-Feb-16 19:14:24

Sorry, didn't read through - old friends - met but I am sure you all realised!

M0nica Mon 15-Feb-16 19:37:21

Kassi it is desperate, isn't it? Those people one rung immediately with news, good and bad, laughed and cried with, trusted and relied one, who understood the slightest elliptical reference to something that happened decades ago or when you were children together. And suddenly they are not there. When the phone goes you hope it will be them and then remember that it is not possible.

I have never lost so many friends so close, but over the years I have lost friends in their 50s and 60s suddenly and wept, as someone said, more than I did for my parents, who both lived into very old age and drifted away. My oldest friend is still around. She is in her early 70s and since my DS died she is my only link with my childhood, but her health is not good and as she says, many of her family have not been long-lived. I hope she will buck the family trend.

Kassi flowers

aggie Mon 15-Feb-16 20:45:39

I envy you , circumstances mean I never had close friends . I thought I had one real friend but she disappeared from my life years ago , I have loads of acquaintances and only recently have made one friend I can talk to , but am still cautious about many confidences

Synonymous Mon 15-Feb-16 21:22:03

Kassi and all others who have lost close friends and family recently flowers including me. sad

Seems even more difficult when one can't get out very much.

suebrocklehurst Tue 16-Feb-16 13:18:39

You have all made me really determined to work harder to make new friends! My best friend is 68, is overweight and has diabetes so I do worry about her health. I moved to a new area a couple of years ago and am finding it hard to make new friends. I am self employed and work from home so don't have work colleagues. Most weekends I do things with my other half so time to socialise with other women is limited. I started a book group and am getting to know the others but it takes time! I also get to a knitting group one evening a fortnight and mean to join a walking group and a choir. This all requires time and energy which seems to be in shorter supply these days! So much easier to make friends when you have small children.

italiangirl Tue 16-Feb-16 15:58:46

I lost my best friend 25 years ago suddenly we were like sisters it's taken me so long to recognize how that affected me .reading all your posts I feel involved .I have only been recently able to let go and reconnect with other women at a deeper level .Having done so I have,found a few friendly people and some,quite l lot older than me,I know I will probably out live them again but while,I can I'm risking that pain to be,with them