Although it’s often overlooked, the loss of a friend is just as devastating as that of any other loved one. It comes with the same force and it quickly takes you through a whirlwind of emotions before it throws you at grief’s mercy. Expect to be shocked, angry, confused and deeply disturbed as you try to make sense of it and adapt to its demands.
Grieving the loss of a friend is just as personal and unique as any other grief. It’s shaped by your relationship with them and it can be affected by age.
Nobody can prepare you for such a loss, even if it is the result of a long illness. Losing a close friend as an adult is likely to trigger a series of emotions beginning with shock and disbelief. Confusion or inabilities to talk about your feelings are also quite likely reactions in the early days of your loss.
However, you feel, remember that it takes time to process that loss and to come to terms with it. Don’t be impatient with yourself and don’t pretend that you are not affected by it. Open the floodgates to let all these feelings and emotions overwhelm you. Then start to work your way through them as you begin to move forward with your life. Expect to cycle through the same feelings or to feel stuck and unable to see a way out of it. That’s how grief works but it gets better with time.
Being in a friendship with someone is a complex process which is based on respect, trust and admiration. It involves a certain level of emotional and instrumental support too. The apparent lack of that support is likely to be one of the first challenges associated with the loss of a close friend.
It can influence your relationships with other people or raise questions about current friendships. Feel free to take some time out or to invest more of your time developing new friendships with people who can add value to your life.
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