The way humans evolve is really quite extraordinary, not just physically but emotionally.
As our lifes become more complicated so do our societal structures.
Our first social body is the family. We have no choice with this group, then come the first friends, they tend to be the children of our parents friends. School opens up a whole new group of same age people. The friendship begins as the whole class, but narrows as our individual choice increases.
As we get older we choose our groups of friends on similarities, for instance those that like the same bands or sports. Then as we partner up we have the other couples that become part of our friend group.
If we have children, we have the mum friends, those that understand how to survive on 2hours sleep & copious coffee. This is followed by the "school mums" & coffee swopped for wine.
I've now joined a new group, the bereaved mums, the sub group being parents who have lost a teenage child in sudden & unexpected circumstances. I'm not going to lie, it's a pretty crap group.
Last week I met up with a member of my new group. Despite the group being crap, she is decidedly not. It was so calming to sit with someone who understood exactly what I meant when i discussed my grief. We are not identical and everyone's grief is unique to them, but she is 3 years further down this road and her insights into the journey are immeasurable. It was of some help to know that the knife edge of grief does blunt, a little, over time and practical advice from someone with similar experiences was more useful to me than anything else so far.
This is the reason we search out the groups of people with similar experiences, it's not just about the wine and the music (although that shouldn't be discounted) it's also about knowing you can survive because someone else already has.