Unless one’s vocation is hermit, people come in and out of our lives always and often without choice. We are glad many are there, others, not so much. The ones that leave it are replaced by others. Travel as I do and new people are being plugged into and out of your life every day.
Important people come and go with some pain, the going made hard. When a friend or a spouse leaves the world, it brings pain. That is not the case usually when someone ambles away to other things, other places.
This comes to me now because there are two that are gone from my life and I will miss them. I will miss them not in the way brought by death but simply because there was a tenuous bond forged over many years. Perhaps one will be missed more than other. It is not easy to tell from this distance. Yet both are gone and except perhaps for the length of familiarity, both seem missed equally. Friends like these are like comfortable shoes. These were. They were not people known well, only seen often, spoken to quietly mostly and enjoyed for who they were. There was no intimacy, just a bit of common knowledge of each other’s lives, its circumstances, and history. We had a comfortable few minutes of talk often, to share a laugh, or a moment of the day not known to the other before we went to our other worlds. We did it for years with no expectations in these moments, and thus no attendant disappointments. They stood on their own, remembered but not fretted over, enjoyed but not pined for before the next encounter.
When people leave, you miss them because they are gone, yet know there was no reason why they should have been there forever. People move or move on to other things, to other places or other parts of their lives deemed more important. That isn’t something to take personally, yet for some reason one can. Perhaps I expected a different end. There might have been a clearer moment of departure, a reason for why it is different now. But that would be an expectation on my part, and that would have been wrong.