One of my best friends is getting married next month, and I will not be there to witness the happiest day of her life. I am extremely happy for her, but at the same time I feel sad because I am losing a friend of twenty years.
If I have to arrange my friends in the order of best-friend-ness, the ones I've known the longest will have very good chances of topping the charts. Not that I am not good friends with relatively new friends, but there is something, some bond with your childhood friends that you can never experience again with other people. You have been with each other since you were eight-year-olds running wild in the neighbourhood, have played endless games, the kinds of games slowly changing as you grow older. And you don't have to make any effort to create an atmosphere of friendliness when you're with each other, you don't have to grope for suitable topics of conversation. You can simply lie on a bed on a Sunday afternoon, listen to an old song and be happy. It doesn't matter if you don't keep in touch for months, when you see each other again you are still the same best friends, and the months just melt away.
When my parents and other elders talked about their old friends from forty fifty years back, it amazed me that they still remembered people from so long back. And at times they would talk about certain events from their youth as if it happened last week. But now I know forty or fifty years can seem not so long ago when it involved people you cared for. My friend and I have known each other for twenty years, yet I still remember clearly the day we first became friends.
Such is life. We meet, became friends, and eventually all of us have to say goodbye at some point of time. It could be because of a hundred reasons. People moving away, people getting married, or simply losing touch, and sometimes we have nothing in common anymore so the friendship just dies. And one fine day, when we shed our earthly existence, will be the final goodbye.