Why Saying Goodbye to Friends is So Hard

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  In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane say many beautiful, heartbreaking things: That there will never be a reunion show (I literally shed a tear), that they almost didn’t end on Ross and Rachel together (the villagers would have stormed the castle with fire and pitch forks), and this:

For us, one of the things was: Everybody was growing up. This is part of why the show had to end. This was no longer that time in your life when your friends are your family. You’re starting your own family.

Though I started watching it in grade school and had seen each episode at least seven times, Friends spoke to me in a completely different way in my late twenties. I have moved many times, leaving communities behind. That fragile feeling of camaraderie that the cast of Friends is all about is something that is very close to my heart. Part of what is so difficult about saying goodbye to Friends is essentially why it had to end.   The time in your life when your friends are your family is an incredible time and for me, it is the stage where great romance takes place. More than the romance between two people, Friends is all about the romance of self-discovery. It’s a time of choices…you choose what you want out of life, and if you find people who support you and truly know you, then that’s just magic….the kind of magic that make Friends so timeless.

We always knew and felt very strongly that not only would it never happen, we never wanted to be part of that, because it so rarely works. We just felt like this show is about a certain time in your life, and once you’re past that time in your life, the show is over.

What is at the root of our longing for a Friends reunion? I think it’s the difficulty of letting go of that stage in our lives when  the journey is as exhilarating as the notion of where it might end. The very last scene where they surrender their keys to Monica’s apartment is this extraordinary moment of knowing. We watch 6 people who just know that as soon as they shut that purple painted door, they’ll have let go of ugly naked guy, the months that Monica and Chandler were fooling around, the time Ross and Rachel were on a break, Phoebe giving birth to her brother’s kids, and that instance when Chandler and Joey accidentally got free porn. We’ll be further away from the countless Thanksgivings spent together out of circumstance, the job changes, the three divorces, and the italian boyfriends.

The thing is, it has to happen.

It just doesn’t make it easier.

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