A zine on friendships and loss

Friends,

I have been missing in action for a few months now, and I’m sorry I didn’t leave a note or an explanation. So many things have happened in between then and now – life got in the way (among many other things) and I just couldn’t bring myself to write for the past few months. The good news however, is that I’m easing myself slowly into being back into the groove of things (it feels like 2018 has just begun for me!)

While I didn’t do much writing here on the blog, I do have something new to show – I created a new zine in collaboration with Weng Pixin and it talks about friendship. Or rather, the lack and loss of it, all wrapped up and titled “This Ship’d Sailed”. Now, I’ve experienced friendships that have gone on and off, or perhaps even on again. We’re not bitter nor angry about them – we just felt that there’s a certain mystery about friendships, of how feelings and emotions tied to such relationships can affect us so much.


Who hasn’t lost a friend in their life? Or who hasn’t felt the stung of rejection that arose from not feeling like they belong? Or what about feeling less than memorable? So much so that you feel tossed aside and ultimately forgotten? It hurts a lot, and I can relate.

This was the reason why Pixin and I decided to create this zine – it’s 40 pages long (yes!) and consists of 7 artists sharing their stories of lost friendships – from friendly fallouts to eventual growing-apart-itis. It’s a less talked about subject – so many people were celebrating friendships that we thought that it might be interesting to talk about the flip side to BFFs.

Having had my fair share of friendships that did not turn out as well as I had hoped, I was hoping that I wasn’t the only one who felt hurt, left out and bewildered by such incidences. Turns out, it’s quite normal (if what I see and read from the contributors are anything to go by). Perhaps you’ve gone through something like this as well, to which I say sharing is really caring.

So do share with me:

Have you ever lost a friendship that was near and dear to you? Or perhaps you’ve felt a little sidelined by a group of friends before? I’d love for you to break open those floodgates and release your frustrations and feelings, and share them with me. Who knows? You might just help a friend or two (even if you don’t know them as one yet).

To see the insides of This Ship’d Sailed zine in all its full-colour glory, head over to my Etsy shop for more pictures and to get yourself a copy!

  illustration, zines


10 thoughts on “A zine on friendships and loss

  1. Hi Amy,

    It was so good to hear about your new zine on friendship. I had a close small group of friends as I was growing up through school and starting college. Growing up with four close friends was comforting when other things in my life around that time (puberty, parents divorce) were often a lot less straightforward. I thought we would all be friends forever. As time went on, and we on our separate pathways toward university and the world of work, I felt our ties together weakening. I found out that a couple of my friends had met up with each other without inviting me, which was hardly a crime, but since I had to stay at home to do a foundation course before going to University it all added to the feeling of being left out or forgotten. When I started seeing my first boyfriend, I have to admit he filled the gap that my friends had left behind, and for a long while, I didn’t see my friends nearly as often as I used to. A few weeks or so before my 21st birthday my first relationship had reached its end and I thought it would be good to try and arrange a get together with my old crew for a catch-up and to celebrate my birthday. They had all agreed to come out with me and I was looking forward to seeing them all when I got a phone call from my closest friend in the group telling me she couldn’t come that evening. I got quite upset on the phone with her (tearful, not angry) and ended up putting the phone down on her. This set in motion a series of phone calls between them all where they all decided to not come out on my 21st. I have never seen or spoken to 3 of them to this day, and I still feel that I lost most of my best friends on my birthday 19 years ago. Looking at it now in hindsight, I can see that as we were growing up, we were all going our separate ways, but the explosive end to three friendships on my birthday all those years ago will stay with me forever and the anxiety and sadness still appear in my dreams to this day. I’d love to have a friend today who I could be as close with as I was with my childhood gang.

  2. Thank you for sharing this! I feel completely isolated from my best friends from my 20s and 30s. At one point we were very close, but a move across the country years ago has changed that completely (or perhaps just accelerated an inevitable drifting away). For a time, I justified time spent on Facebook as a way to keep in touch with far-away friends, but I came to the realization last year that the social network was in no way strengthening or even maintaining these friendships. Can friendships that start in your 20s evolve and survive the changes that occur as we grow up (and grow old)? Or is that too much to expect? I miss my friends dearly, but have come to realize that I need to manage my expectations, and respect these friendships for what they have become. We are no longer close but I’ll always cherish them.

    • Carrie, I know what you mean about missing far away friends and how growing up changing everything. I’m so sorry. I too have come to that realization about social media, first believing it kept me in touch with distant friends, then realizing it didn’t strengthen an already weak tie to them. I hope you are doing well now. Best wishes to you for finding strong bonds in reliable friends.

  3. Hey Amy,

    I don’t normally comment anywhere on anything, but I guess I just really need to today. The synchronism was just too much for me. (and normally, strangely enough, your posts have the same kind of effect)

    At 5:30 a.m. this morning, I lost my best friend of over 20 years to her struggle with metastatic breast cancer. It was only 3 weeks ago that she and I both thought she was going to beat it again. I’m glad for her that the difficult part went extremely fast, as she wished it to.

    I appreciate your post and the subject of your new zine so much. You always seem to focus on things that matter to me. I am feeling quite a bit lost, as if my “touchstone” was snatched from my palm.

    I’m a person who has never run with any crowds. Having a great deal of time alone with myself seems to sustain and nourish me. But we all desire someone who “gets” us, whose company we always enjoy, who we look forward to spending time with no matter what may come. Sue was that person for me, and there is now this gaping hole where she stood.

  4. I love the idea of this zine. I sure lost a handful of friends over time, it’s not like we “broke up” or anything, we just went separate ways and the connection we had was gone along with that. It’s a bit sad, but we can only learn and grow from it.

  5. This struck close to home. I’ve had my share of falling outs, usually over instances where one of us didn’t meet the others’ expectation, but I thought that was behind me. It happened again recently, with someone I had initially formed a fast and tight bond with… it is sad. Thanks for talking about these things. Friendships are precious, and fragile sometimes too.

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