Nothing will delineate the difference between friends and acquaintances better than a crisis. They sort themselves out, but that's not to say that the results won't be disappointing.
In the past week, I've found out I'm toting around a grapefruit-sized mass in my abdomen and that my uterus also needs to leave the building- and tra-la, tra-la, yesterday I was sent for a blood draw for cancer markers. I'm not too happy about any of it, but what can you do? Much like the dried-up sodium incident in high school, sudden knowledge does not exacerbate the situation at hand unless you choose to be melodramatic about it.
Here's the thing: if you don't know what to say, it's perfectly all right to say "I'm sorry." To say nothing is both rude and unkind.
Our illusions die hard, and seemingly, at the most inopportune time. We're relieved, I suppose, of the burden of them on our hearts, minds, and souls. It does, however, incinerate some of the better memories of childhood in a single, blinding flash, just when we might take a modicum of comfort in them.
The spell of banishment is simple: write the name of the person on a strip of paper, and burn it to ash. Take the ashes to a body of running water such as a stream or river, and dump them in, while speaking or thinking that the person be gone from one's life forever. Maybe I can put it off, until the words and pain are borne away by the 'mighty' Green River, but I'm not sure I have the time to wait.