Self, Heartbreak

8 Healthy Ways To Deal With The Loss Of A Friend

Photo: Yuliya Kosolapova on Unsplash
Stages Of Grief — How To Deal With The Loss Of A Friend (In 8 Steps)

We all have that friend that is like family, we connect with them as we would to our siblings. They know as much about you and your life as your loved ones do.

But what happens when the closest person to us dies? The person you call for everything — such as advice about your relationship or what is the perfect outfit to wear on your birthday.

In some cases, people often think of their close or best friend as the only person who gets them or understands them so losing the one person who you can call on during hard times can be devastating.

A friend of mine just experienced losing her best friend in the whole world, and she has not been the same since. She explained to me that it was like losing a sister. She stated that she will never recover from this pain and she will never have the one person she could tell everything to again.

We often overlook the loss of a good friend because we focus on the passing of our family members. You will never know the pain of losing a friend you called family until it hits close to home.

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Having a friendship is based on love, trust, and respect. Friendship is having emotional support as well as teamwork skills. Working together as a team to help each other get through life is exactly what good friendships are. Having that mutual respect and support of each other is key to having a close friend that you can call on.

The emotions you that you could be faced with when losing a close friend can be a whirlwind. Expect to feel angry, shocked and very sad. These are just a few of the thousands of emotions you will have. Just imagine that the person you called on to help you grieve a loss of a family member or even a break up is no longer here for you to cry and call on. The impact that our close friends have on our lives is extremely important and we often take them for granted.

The loss of a close friend had impact your mental, emotional and physical health. The loss of a good friend is not given the same respect as losing a parent, spouse or child but we have to remember that it does really impact our lives.

Just like any other loss, it takes time to process it. It is always good to talk about your emotions with people who understand what you are going through. You have to be patient with your grieving process and you have to remember that your close friend is forever in your heart.

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Here are 8 ways to help you deal with the loss of a friend and cope with your grief:

1. Understand that grieving a friend can be just as painful as mourning the loss of a family member (if not worse).

In your eyes, your friend is your family and society does not understand that at times. The world thinks that grieving can only be for a family, but in reality, grieving can be for all types of things, such as a loss of a friend, a divorce, or even a break up — not just death. Remember that your friend was a part of your life and will always have space in your heart.

2. Talk to someone about how you are feeling.

In losing the person we often call for help or advice, we tend to hold back our feelings and emotions because we feel that we do not have the support we had when they were here. You have to remember to either join a grieving group or talk to a therapist about your feelings because it is not good to keep them bottled in.

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3. Know that others might not understand how close you were with your friend who passed away.

When we lose a friend we have to remember that they do have a family who is also grieving with a lot of emotions. They might not understand how deep your friendship was and how it can affect you and your life. Sometimes the family will not understand that you loved your friend as much as they loved them.

4. Your grief can (and likely will) affect your relationship with your other friends.

You might begin to neglect your other friends because you are consumed with hurt from the loss of your closest friend. You might also be afraid to become close to another friend because you feel like you never want to experience that kind of pain again.

There are several factors that could make you want to step away from friendships for a while after such a loss but you have to remember that just because you lost a good person that you can always have more room for love in your life. The love of friendships, family and even relationships will always have room to grow in your heart.

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5. Take time to feel nostalgic and remember your life with your friend.

Don’t ever forget the wonderful moments and times you had with your friend. You can always cherish the memories in your heart and those will keep you smiling when you feel like you are alone. You have to remember that this is a new way of them being in your life forever by remembering all of the good times and even the bad ones.

6. If you're feeling severely depressed in other areas of your life, seek help.

Losing someone such as a close friend in your life can lead to depression and anxiety. You might feel lonely because you might feel alone and that no one would understand or no one could help you during this time. Just remember to keep yourself busy and remember that you are loved and you can seek help.

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7. Accept that you can’t change it.

Although the loss will be devastating you have to remember to accept things for what they are and that there is no way that you can change that. Coming to terms with death is always the hardest thing but you will remember to love life and learn from this experience.

8. Use the loss of your friend as a lesson to make the most of your current relationships (and live in the moment).

After a big loss, we often get consumed with death and how we wish the person was alive that we forget that we are alive and we have to live life to the fullest. You can also mourn the person and be sad but you have to remember that your close friend would want you to go live your best life.

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Katrina Harris is a writer who covers love and relationship topics.