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Any loss can cause lingering pain, but the loss of a best friend can be particularly difficult to bear. A world without them might seem completely altered, even impossible to navigate alone. This may leave you feeling excluded from mourning rituals, or as if other people judge you for being so deeply affected.
But experts now consider these stages Lost contact with my friend outdated model for looking at grief. She used them to describe the experiences of people confronting their own terminal illness. The important thing to remember is this: People react to loss in different ways.
Exposing the fresh wound of your loss might feel painful and impossibly difficult. Sometimes talking about your feelings is easier said than done. You can freely express anything, from sadness to disappointment to rage. Emotions given shape through written words can seem more real — and easier to acknowledge and process.
Grief often provokes angry responses, especially when you feel unable to cry or openly discuss your pain. A journal offers a safe, healthy outlet for feelings that others often expect you to keep inside. Journaling also offers the opportunity to recall happier memories. No matter what circumstances ended your friendship, treasuring the moments you shared can still have value. One study looked at bereavement in nearly 10, Australian adults who lost a close friend. The suggest grief can impair physical and mental health, along with social function, for up to 4 years.
The fact is, non-kinship losses, like the loss of a best friend, often go largely unrecognized. People might understand your sadness, but society as a whole often fails to acknowledge the depth of this sorrow. You befriended them and cultivated the relationship for years, maybe even the majority of your life. Coping with loss in productive ways may not shorten your journey through grief, but it can transform it in other ways.
Turning to loved ones for support and practicing good self-care can help you carry grief more lightly until time blunts its sharpest edges. In the immediate aftermath, you might forget about everyday activities like eating, sleeping, and showering. Time might begin to feel incomprehensible, as the days stretch on and your grief refuses to subside. While you might not feel up to getting dressed or cooking, creating a sense of normalcy could help you regain some control over your grief.
You might not feel any less devastated, but you will feel more equipped to ride with the waves of grief. If your friend died, you may find some comfort in doing something to reassure yourself that their memory will live on. You can honor them in plenty of ways. Give the idea some careful thought to come up with something uniquely suited to them. These options can offer a place to start:.
Altruistic actions like volunteering can have added benefit. They provide the opportunity to honor your friend and convey gratitude for their presence in your life, and also allow you to give back to your community. This can help you feel more socially connected. Things might look a little different if you lose your friend due to irreconcilable differences of opinion, but you can still hold a private memorial of sorts. You might write them a letter that acknowledges both the years of experiences you shared and your grief at losing their friendship.
If mementos, photos, and other reminders of your friend are too painful to see on a daily basis, set them aside in a box for safekeeping until you feel able to revisit those memories. Although there may be no one else in the world who can come close to replacing your best friend, other loved ones can offer emotional support after your loss. Simply spending time in the company of people who understand can help you feel less alone in your distress. A grief support group can offer solace when your loved ones mean well but say all the wrong things.
Others who have experienced similar losses know better than anyone else what to say and when to listen. Therapy can also help you navigate grief and other turmoil after ending a long-standing friendship. Perhaps your best friend had an affair with your partner, abused their partnercommitted a serious crime, or voted for a political candidate who represents a direct threat to your existence. You might forgive these actions while still finding them impossible to accept without compromising your own values.
A therapist can help validate these feelings and offer compassionate guidance as you begin coping with your loss. Painful as it is, grief is part of the natural processes of life. It even has value, since it marks your ability to love. This might seem unlikely now, but time will help transform the sharp sting of loss into something more manageable.
Crystal Raypole has ly worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health.
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Wondering what constitutes bad hygiene? Rest assured that some supposed bad hygiene traits are actually NBD, but some can be s of a deeper issue. Despite its troubled past, the hiking community is slowly transforming into a more inclusive space. Here are 8 Lost contact with my friend to try.
Curious about trying couples therapy but can't get your partner on board? We asked 6 therapists for their advice on next steps. Cassell, Psy. Come to terms with your feelings.
Keep a journal. Give it time. Take care of your well-being. Do something in their memory. Turn to others for support. Talk to a counselor. The bottom line. Medically reviewed by C. Read this next. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph. Medically reviewed by Alex Klein, PsyD.
Owe Someone an Apology? Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.Lost contact with my friend
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