best friends forever

This past week, my childhood best friend passed away at the age of 17. I’ve been thinking a lot about what “best friends forever” really means. We were best friends for 8 years, since pre-kindergarten to sixth grade when we switched schools and drifted apart. I still hung out with her from time to time, but it was nothing like the recess hangouts, basketball practices, summer camps, car rides, movies, sleepovers, snow days, dance parties, comic writing, and softball games, just to name a few.

On Monday, I learned she passed away. Looking through my memories, I forgot how much of a part of my life she had been. I can’t remember a childhood memory where she is not there. She has always been there, smiling next to me with her face covered in chocolate at a chocolate fountain or screaming down the hill while sledding in the same tobogan. We have been two peas in a pod since we were 4.

Of course, we did everything normal best friends do. We wore the best friend charms every day at school and at night we would spend hours calling each other on the phone. Another girl who was close friends with us bought three necklaces for us to share when we were in third grade. These read: “best”, “friends”, and “forever”. I ended up with the forever necklace and still kept it to this day. When I found it while looking through my old memories with her, I couldn’t get the idea of “forever” out of my head. At the time, I thought I had been duped. I thought I got the worst necklace of all three. Of course someone could wear “friends” without the other two, but I was contained to only wearing the necklace when the other two did. “Forever” on its own did not suffice.

This forever necklace now holds a special part in my heart. I am obviously connected to my best friend by the joint puzzle piece that she has in her room and I always will be as long as I have the necklace. Everyone knows what best friends mean. An UrbanDictionary post defines a best friend as, “Not only someone you have a good time with, it is also someone you believe you can trust your life with. A best friend is the first person you call when the most amazing things happen in your life, and when the most horrific incidents happen. A best friend is the person you will always remember no matter what comes about.”

I can talk to my best friend about anything and everything, and I do. When the forever part gets added in, it becomes a bit more murky. When is forever? Does it ever end? In this case, is it over?

We drifted apart, but I always considered her still one of my best friends. She knew me better than anyone, and thinking about it, she is probably the friend I have spent the most time with in my life. To think that she is gone, that those memories are now expired, is unspeakable.

I don’t think forever ever ends. I think forever is actually the most important word in “Best friends forever”. We are best friends, and I owe it to her to remain best friends forever. I also need to uphold the memory of her. I will not let her legacy be let down and I will never let her be forgotten. Overtime, some may become more distant to her, some may not feel her loss as close anymore, but I need to make sure she is never forgotten. I owe it to her to honor her forever, and that is the true sign of best friendship.