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3 Sep

Losing Your Best Friend: How to Navigate the Grieving Process

We say romantic breakups are hard, but losing your best friend is even harder to experience. So, how do you navigate the grief of the loss of a friend?

Losing your best friend isn’t an easy experience, especially when you thought this friendship would last forever. But it’s time for you to go your own way. Here’s what you need to do to get through the process of losing your best friend.

I had a best friend who was also my neighbor. We spent most of our days together, hanging out or talking on the phone. And then one day I had found out she was spending a little too much time with my boyfriend. He was my first boyfriend; while we weren’t going to last forever, it was a special relationship for me. And then she slept with him.

Needless to say, I was heartbroken. Yes, I was sad that he did what he did, but that wasn’t the problem. I was heartbroken over my best friend. This was my best friend! How could she have done something like this to me?

It took me a year to get over what happened. Eventually, they started dating, and once they broke up, she came over to ask for forgiveness. By that point, I had already processed what happened and wasn’t interested in being friends with her.

Getting over what happened took me months. She was my neighbor, don’t forget. I would see and hear them outside all the time.

How to handle losing your best friend

The hardest breakup of all is losing your best friend.

#1 Not all friendships are meant to last. You may think this person will be in your life forever, but most friendships don’t last the test of time. People go their own ways, start new lives, and this is something you’ll need to accept. Friendships change, and it’s normal.

#2 Now it’s time to focus on you. You’re going through a hard time, but this isn’t when you should focus your attention onto their social media. Instead, practice self-care. Whatever makes you feel good, do it. Hang out with your friends, play sports, spend time with your family. Whatever you need to do that’s good for you, do it.

#3 Give yourself a break. This isn’t an easy experience to go through, so show yourself some compassion. You may feel it’s your fault, but don’t jump to conclusions. Instead, give yourself time and some self-love. A friendship is a two-way street; you’re not the only one involved.

#4 Grieve. The loss of your best friend is intense, and you’re going to feel like crying. Cry! You need to grieve and process the loss of your friend. It’s okay if you feel upset, and you want to break down. Let go of your emotions; don’t bottle them up inside of you.

#5 Don’t gossip about them. You’re angry and upset, so it’s easy to want to lash out and talk about your former best friend behind their back. But trust me, this isn’t a good look for you. If you’re angry, write your feelings down or talk about it with someone you trust. But take the higher road.

#6 You may not get closure right away. We all want to get closure, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, at least not right away. You’ll need to accept this, and it’ll take time for you to do that. With time, you’ll be able to reflect on the situation and get the closure you need with or without them.

#7 Think about the positives in your future. Yes, your best friend isn’t around, but you have a lot of other things happening in your life that you’re just not seeing right now. Remind yourself of the good things you have in your life and create a routine that keeps you busy.

#8 If you need to change your social media, do it. You may have a lot of posts and pictures with your bestie, but they don’t need to stay visible. It’s okay to change things up after losing your best friend. You don’t need a constant reminder of them every time you look at your phone. 

#9 Connect with your other friends. Your best friend isn’t the only person you know. Yes, they were the closest person to you, but you have other people to reach out to. Don’t pull back. Instead, hang out with your other friends and meet new people through them. Just because you lost your best friend doesn’t mean you can’t connect with other people.

#10 You don’t need to find a new BFF right away. Think of this as a breakup. It’s not healthy to jump from one relationship to the next, right? Same goes for best friends. You don’t need to find a new bestie right away. Give yourself time to heal, and you’ll meet someone who can be your new friend. But don’t rush this process.

#11 But what about mutual friends? Oh, well, this one can be a little tricky. But, it’s important you figure out if you’re able to handle seeing mutual friends. If you feel you can’t see them without bad-mouthing your bestie; perhaps, you should take a  break from your mutual friends for a while.

#12 Accept the relationship is over. You may reconnect after some time, but it’s best not to fill yourself with hope. Consider the relationship over. If you reconnect down the road, great. But for your own mental health, accept what happened and emotionally process the breakup.

Losing your best friend isn’t easy; it’s going to be really hard. But you will be able to pull through and make it through this loss.

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