To The Friends Who Love Us Through Heartbreak: Thank You For Staying

These words were inspired by Amazon Prime’s second season of The Summer I Turned Pretty. Explore Belly’s growing pains through the ups and downs of friendship, family, love and so much more on July 14th, 2023.

There’s a hollowness that comes with a breakup. 

Laying in bed at night, my body felt fragile as the sheets settled around me. My tomorrows felt like hurdles. My todays were weighted in solitude. My mind was a treetop filled with birds that would not stop cooing, even when I wanted silence.

You prepare yourself for this– the hurting, the decaying. Shedding a layer of yourself to bloom ripe again but you’re not quite there yet. You’re still detaching yourself from them and aching through it. Peeling each memory away and saying goodbye to a certain intimacy; how it felt for someone to know your every thought, dream, meal, cry, failure, success, and so much more. Breaking up ensues a mourning process that we all expect but trudge through slowly; waving goodbye to old sayings, jokes, nicknames, and songs like fading highway billboards while we keep driving forward.

We can be so lost in the river of our own wallowing that we lose perspective. But slowly, bit by bit we lose our tunnel vision and discover the many people rafting alongside us. Our friends, sisters, brothers, neighbors, etc. that have stepped into our grief with us and are holding our hands through it all; acting as our lifebuoys ready to bring us ashore.

Late at night when my mind felt cinderblock-heavy, and my fingers wanted to type I miss you, my best friend would call to keep me company. Each day she checked in, keeping me level while my world felt askew. I visited friends in different cities and we watched old romcoms that reminded me how sweet love should be; visited museums that reparked my love for art and my desire to write; and cooked new recipes that helped me to savor flavor again. I cried to them about what I missed and why I left and they listened. Every morning they echoed,

you are strong

I’m so proud of you

there is so much more joy in store for you 

and I felt myself replenishing.

Each moment spent alongside them helped me come back to myself. Instead of spending my days lamenting a relationship that was no longer serving me, I began rejoicing in a life that was even more fulfilling than before. A life nourished by my mother’s baked ziti; loud music sung with friends on long drives in the sun; group workouts in the grass; laughs over reality tv show gossip; cuddles with a dog that has loved me from cringey adolescence to adulthood; my list goes on. Instead of dedicating days, nights, and precious heart space to a partner that did not bring out my best, I could now devote hours, days, weekends to the people that did– the ones that know me to my core; the ones returning me to my center. 

To the friends that love us through heartbreak, thank you for staying. Thank you for breaking our heartbreak and helping us rediscover ourselves. Thank you for reminding us that we don’t need anyone else to feel whole and that when we are feeling vulnerable, we have you to lean on. 

True friends are soulmates. They are there for the bright times, saying cheers with a glass of wine and smiling big for your wins. They are there for the dark ones too, offering you the tenderest comfort or bounds of forgiveness. When you feel like you’re drowning, true friends roll up their jeans and wade into the waters of heartache with you. They remind you endlessly that you are not alone because they are our anchors, our lifebuoys, our rocks to hold us steady always. So, to these friends, the ones that love us abundantly through heartbreak– thank you for staying; for carrying us out of our grief; for reminding us who we are and how much bliss we have left to experience because you are by our side. 

And I hope you know that if the time comes, I will wade knee-deep beside you too, because true friends stay.

Because we are in this life together.

About the author

Katee Fletcher

Katee’s passion for writing and fascination for language has forever guided her path in life.