Coping with the Death of Your Best Friend

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. — Ana Nin

Meaningful friendships are a beautiful part of our lives and sometimes, one of these dear friendships grow into something deeper and wonderful. A best friend is a part of us and they become a part of our family too. They are the first person we call in times of joy and when we need a shoulder to lean on, they will always be there for us. The relationship you share with your best friend is intensely personal that no one can understand it except the two of you.

The loss of a best friend is like a loss of a part of yourself. The death of a best friend is different than a death of a family member.  There are no terms for this loss that quite fits the bill and people expect a shortened period of mourning and usually offer a different and lighter sort of sympathy and condolence. Coping with the death of your best friend is a largely unmapped territory. We hope that the below ways will help you cope with that profound loss:

You need time to mourn, so take your time

You need time to process the loss of someone who was a huge part of your life, so take time to mourn. As your live goes on, take time to remember your best friend an hour here or an evening there. As with all types of grief, the worst stings of it will subside with time and will be replaced with a softer ache. Remember, it’s important that you talk about your grief with family and friends, let yourself cry and take trips down the memory lane. Your grief will move forward naturally.

Preserve your memories of your best friend

For some it may sound cliché, but preserving memories by scrapbooking, for example, can help immensely in processing your feelings. There are so many things about your best friend that you don’t want to forget and the fear of forgetting itself can sometimes stress you out tremendously. Preserve the important moments that you shared with your best friend- keep a scrapbook of photos and mementos or a journal of memories. As time goes by, you’ll be glad that you took the time and effort to preserve these valuable memories while they were still fresh in your mind.

Seek support from family and friends

Don’t be afraid to let others know how intensely the loss has affected you. Your family and friends will help you cope when they truly understand how much they are needed and you’ll be amazed by how much the smallest act of kindness and understanding can change your entire frame of mind and help you in your toughest moments.

Open yourself up to new friendships

Though your best friend can never be replaced, their loss shuts us down for some time. But grief needn’t be your constant companion. You’ll discover that new friendships can become just as gratifying and profound over time. Give yourself time to develop new relationships and let them take their own unique paths.

Create a legacy

When you feel ready, honor your best friend’s life and create a legacy for him/her. It could be something like charitable donations or volunteer work that was their passion and priorities. Creating a legacy in their memory will bring you infinite comfort.

As time goes on, you’ll learn to adjust to life without your best friend. On particularly bad days, remember to take it moment by moment. Your best friend will always be a part of who you have become and they would want you to move past the grief and embrace life and new friendships with as much devotion as you embraced each other.

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