5 Ways to Cope With The Loss of a Friend

Friends

The loss of a friend can be especially painful because of the special bond you shared with the person.

You can't remember a time before they were part of your life.

You might have both promised to be "Best friends forever" or something similar.

Without them, the world might look very different, maybe even impossible to handle on one's own.

At moments like this, you need all the grief support you can get, but these tips can also help you cope with the death of a friend.

You may have lost a friend, but that doesn't mean they're out of your life forever.

There will be moments when you feel like it would be easier to just stop thinking about the person altogether.

However, it doesn't work like that, and in fact, holding on to the good times you shared with your friend can help you get through your grief.

Keeping a journal can also help you cope with the loss of a friend.

Journaling gives you the opportunity to express yourself and to note down memories.

You could also consider making a scrapbook with items that remind you of your friend.

This gives you the opportunity to capture different moments in time that you spent with your friend.

The 5 strategies below can help you navigate your loss and cope with the loss of a friend.

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

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Come to Terms With Your Feelings

Denial is the first of what is typically thought of as the five stages of grief.

Accepting a friend's death can be difficult, and you may find yourself refusing to accept it at first.

To understand how to cope with the loss of a friend, it is important that you come to terms with your feelings.

In order to come to terms with your feelings, you first let go of the denial.

Anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, and regret are just some of the other feelings triggered by a loss.

Losing a friend can be devastating, and it can also leave you with a lot of unanswered questions.

While it's possible that you'll never be able to answer those questions, burying your feelings inside will do nothing to help you heal.

Keep a Journal

If you're having trouble connecting with your emotions, talking to close friends, family members, or a therapist can help a great deal.

It's not always easy to put one's feelings into words.

Find other ways to express your feelings and thoughts if you don't feel like talking.

One option is to keep a journal.

You can write whatever you want without worrying about what others might think in a journal.

No emotion is off-limits, not even anger, sadness, or disappointment.

Giving words to your feelings can make them more tangible, as well as easier to recognize and deal with.

Anger is a common reaction to grief, particularly if you feel you cannot cry or talk about your pain.

Keeping a journal can provide a healthy, safe space to express emotions that you may feel pressured to suppress around others.

Keep a journal, and you can look back on happier times in your life; it can be helpful to remember the good times you shared together.

Writing to your best friend in a journal can be a great way to "ask." 

Allow Yourself Time to Grieve

Without your friend, life will not be the same.

You will miss them regardless of what you do.

This is normal, as are the other feelings and emotions you will probably experience.

Remember that grieving is an individual process.

Be kind to yourself and give yourself ample time to mourn this loss.

After a friend's death, the emotional high caused by the release of endorphins while laughing and having a good time with them is replaced by a mountain of grief.

That is the obstacle you must overcome to move on with your life following the death of a close friend.

Others may try to tell you to "move on" before you are prepared.

But take the necessary time. Understand that you can (and will) heal.

Healing does not require forgetting the deceased. It does not mean you miss them any less.

Grief & Loss Therapists in Colorado

Leigh Harlan, LPC

Leigh Harlan, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Derek Bonds, LPC

Derek Bonds, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Susan Taylor, LPCC

Susan Taylor, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jacquelynne Sils, LPC

Jacquelynne Sils, LPC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Shannon Hamm, LPC, CCTP

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Heather Comensky, LPC

Heather Comensky, LPC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121

Make a Scrapbook

The practice of keeping a journal can be interestingly supplemented (or replaced) by the creation of a scrapbook.

Scrapbooks, which are considerably more personal than memorials, can perform the same function as memorials.

Studies have shown that scrapbooking can be therapeutic for people who are experiencing difficult emotions.

These emotions include loss and grief.

Scrapbooks are a good idea for those who struggle to put their feelings into words.

This is especially true for people who find it difficult to talk about their feelings.

Preserve Memories

The death of a friend is no reason to forget them.

Preserving their memories is one way to cope with the loss of a friend.

Remember the good times and keep them close to your heart.

That is their new way of being a part of your life, and you must accept it.

You could do something appropriate to honor the person you care about.

Create a memory box or folder with mementos of the deceased. Include mementos, photos, quotes, or anything else you want.

If you want, you can write the person a letter.

You could include your feelings and things you want to say in it.

Some people write a letter of appreciation.

It's a way to express gratitude to someone you love for being a part of your life.

If they instilled good qualities in you, continue to demonstrate those qualities in order to honor them.

Love, gratitude, and meaning can all help you get through a tough time.

Organize celebrations in their honor and invite mutual friends to commemorate significant anniversaries and milestones.

Conclusion

The painful feelings that accompany a loss are real and can linger for some time.

Be kind to yourself, seek out grief support from people who can help you through this difficult time, and know that grieving is a process.

Some ways to cope with the loss of a friend include: coming to terms with your feelings, keeping a journal, allowing yourself time to grieve, making a scrapbook, and preserving memories.

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July 13th, 2024

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