Minerva's Breakdown

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Dear Minerva:

After over 20 years of close friendship, a (former?) friend just picked up and moved. I didn’t find out until after it was done. He just left without so much as a goodbye. I am trying not to let it bug the hell out of me, but it does. I feel awkward reaching out but I also have no clue what I should take away from the way this went down. Any thoughts?

— Sincerely,

Disposable Friend

Dear Friend:

I can think of a few people that would leave me gutted if that happened. I am sorry that you have been left behind wondering what in the world happened that prompted such a sudden and stealthy departure. When people do things that seem hurtful, selfish, or personal, I try (“try” being the operative) to step back and remove myself from the equation. There are countless reasons he could have picked up and fled, all of which probably have nothing to do with you or your friendship. The pandemic has reframed people’s lives. Mental or physical health issues are often a burden people don’t want to force on others. Maybe he needed a clean break and doesn’t do “goodbyes.” Maybe something happened that he’s ashamed of. When the time is right — and you’ll know when — reach out and chat. In the meantime give him grace and get comfortable with not knowing — for now. Finally, these lyrics from Moby’s “We Are All Made of Stars” come to mind: “People they come together/People they fall apart. “ I wish you peace.

SUBMIT questions to Minerva's Breakdown at bit.ly/AskMinerva. All submissions remain anonymous. Illustration of Minerva by Adam Rosenlund.

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