I was talking to someone today about my recently departed friend. They asked “how long had you known her?”. I answered the question (quite a long time in this instance) but even as I did I was aware why the question was asked. It’s to gauge how bereft you are likely to feel and how much grief you are reasonably allowed to feel. I think people unconsciously put a sliding scale on it.
That is simply not legitimate. Some friends I have known for a very long time I have a totally superficial relationship with. Other friends, I can think of one in particular, I have known for a comparatively short period of time. Yet they are hugely important to me, know more about me than most people, support me etc and for whom I have huge affection; indeed love in a non-romantic sense. Other people still, come in and out of your life with varying importance.
My point is that it is not a valid question in the context it was asked. In future I’ll probably just say “long enough”