Not everyone you choose to be in your life is meant to walk this journey with you. I think of some of the people that have come and gone from my life (*ahem* some of the men that have come and gone from my life)... And I think often we reason that because it's our journey we get to pick and choose who stays and who goes — if I see a future with you (friendships included), you stay; if I lose interest in continuing a relationship, you go.
But sometimes it's not like that.
People will leave your journey of their own accord. Sometimes the journey winds in a way that loses others. In either case, people depart whom you did not elect to go, and you have to grieve the loss of not only what was but also what you thought might have been. Maybe in time the grieving shifts from a severe injury to a slight ache — something that feels more like an honoring of the pain cause by their exit while also still acknowledging the rightfulness of it — but regardless something is felt.
Not everyone you choose is meant to walk this journey with you, but I am learning — everyday with often little tangible evidence — to trust the journey. Trust who it brings and who it removes. And as cycles of grieving arise, be they sharp pains or reverential aches, it helps to reframe them as evidence of healing, growth, life, and shift.