Every once in a while, I am nearly overwhelmed by those who have come and gone in my life... some for better, some for worse, some with hugs, others with curses on their breath, some because of something I did, some because of decisions made by the other person, and then there are those that are taken or leave because of reasons completely out of my control.
The circumstances matter, certainly... the way of the parting matters, but ultimately the common denominator in all these transitions is the "empty chair" and the reminders that bring attention to that absence.
Somedays (honestly, most days) are good and I have a healthy understanding that life is that way... people come and people go. Friends are a gift and I need to do my best to cultivate and grow the relationships that I am blessed with... that I have been given. Other days, the "bad" days maybe, it feels like I'm sitting in an old theater surrounded by nothing but empty chairs. It's a hard thing to wrestle with and on those days, leaves me questioning who I am and what I could have done to avoid the departure.
And the answer is both nothing and everything all at the same time.
Things change, people come and people go... so, love those that God gives you, continue to love and pray blessings over those that are taken away or choose to leave... and while relationships are important (we were not meant to be alone), understand that your identity should not be built on those relationships. We're all human, finite and flawed.
And when I feel overwhelmed by the presence of the empty chair and all the whys and what ifs... I remind myself that there is a God and that I am not Him. All things are for a purpose and everyday has enough worry of its own.