How to Heal After the Loss of a BGF (Black Girl Friendship)
“This isn’t going to work…I..I don’t think we can be friends anymore.”
The words hit me like a punch to the gut. As I read the text, so many thoughts ran through my mind.
How had things gotten this bad. I thought all she needed was some space.
Losing a friendship hurts.
Losing a Black Girl Friendship feels like the world has come to a halt and may never start revolving again.
Yes. It feels that big.
When C and I met, we bonded over the myth that black girls can’t be friends. This myth that has become pervasive and has seeped deep within society. True, issues as painful as colorism are roadblocks black girls have to constantly navigate; however, those on the inside – essentially, us, two melanin infused queens, knew that there’s nothing like a BGF. Though this myth has managed to reach far and wide, shows like Insecure and A Black Lady Sketch Show continue to challenge that narrative with every episode.
C and I did everything together. We would study and then go for dinner together. We loved to try new places – that’s one of the reasons we both loved Montreal, it’s food culture is deep and vast. We would swap clothes. I would tell her about Darren and she would talk about her beau. But what I really appreciated about our friendship was the space we gave each other to grow mentally and spiritually. Our conversations would go deep as we planned our tomorrows – we understood the agency we held, even when that same freedom would choke us with anxiety…still we planned. C had become my person. I knew I could tell her anything, and it would be free of judgement but with just the right amount of accountability.
When things started to change, I could feel it in the air…but I didn’t want to accept it. I had made a mistake. A big one. And if my past (and our relationship) had thought me anything, it was my duty to be honest.
When I shared with C my faux pas, she felt deeply betrayed. I had fooled around with her ex, after all. An ex that she deeply loved and was still not over. One moment I was sober and in complete control, the next…well, I wasn’t. And now, because of a lapse of judgement, my friendship hangs in the balance.
C asked me for space.
I gave her all the space she needed. I thought about everything I would say when she would be ready to talk. I prepared myself mentally for her yelling. I chided myself and beau…how could I have let this happen?? But it did. And now it was time to deal with the consequences.
Until I got that, the text.
The text that ended it all.
“This isn’t going to work…I…I…don’t think we can be friends anymore.”
A gut punch.
I knew I was in the wrong. And C had every right to choose to end things. But my mind couldn’t stop thinking, where could I have done things differently.
And as I sat and thought about it, I realized I didn’t fight as hard for my friendship as I thought I had. When she asked for space, I too, turned the other way and lost the bond we shared…the pact we made.
Looking back, I realize when one asks for space, it is so so important to respect that. But that space is in and of itself, a double edged sword. Not enough space, and you’re not respecting set boundaries. Too much space, and you may never recover.
How much space is just enough space to process and recover?
For C and I, I’ll never know.
But this I do know, as this BGF rests in peace, I must not let it hold me back from the next BGF already on its way. Black girls get along, and just like any other friendship, ours ebbs and flows. However, take it from me, there truly is nothing like it.
So when you find your healing, reach out and let others in – there’s always more to be shared.
As for C, I wish her all the best.
Thanks for the memories.
Thanks for the lessons.
Hailing from West Africa, Josie Fomé was born in Cameroon and has lived in Canada for a decade. She has a B.A. in Communication Studies and a Gr.Dip. in Journalism. She has a passion for storytelling of all kinds, be it oral, written, or visual. She can often be found at the intersection of storytelling and accountability. She travels often, loves quality time with her loved ones, and asking thought-provoking questions.