It is desireable that these changes don't come suddently and abrubt - because this hurts very much. It is good to have friends, it is hard to loose them.
Yes, that is true.
The change hurts, it seems especially so when it comes suddenly or unexpectedly. Without time to prepare, or brace oneself, but how much time is needed? What rate change is ideal?
But I ask, in a sense rhetorical, in hindsight, were there signs that things were headed for a change? Personally, as a creature of habit, things can appear too painful to face as it's slipping away, I react by grasping tighter, perhaps ignoring the facts before me but that just makes the release more so.... the resistance to the change can cause it(suffering, etc.) to increase.
Loosing a good friend is really tough, but I'm also the type that sees opportunity in pain, growth in obstacles, so I would sit with the hurt, and explore it, what is the this
that hurts? Who hurts? Why is it painful? Why is loosing a friend(or xyz person) so painful? Sit with it, openly, and explore, dig around for the root of this hurt, and pull it out.
When one finds the root of this particular part of the pain, the hurt, the source, and nips it at it's source, the rest falls like a deck of cards(or fail to regrow with as much vigor as so many weeds). Sometimes I found weeding to be helpful in life's many aspects(as well as in the garden).
I hope this helps, best regards.