A Step-by-Step Guide to Coping with the Sudden Death of a Friend

Monday, July 20, 2020

It's a strange feeling when you get the news. At first, you're confused, you comprehend the words coming out the person's mouth but they don't make sense.

When realize what's going on, you double and triple check to make sure you got the facts right. But yes, it's happening to you.

The death of a friend can be just as devastating as losing any loved one. The idea of going on without certain people in our lives is unbearable. Read on for a few things you might need to hear to learn how to deal with losing a friend.

Express Yourself

The passing of a friend is something that nothing can prepare you for. A rush of emotions of all kinds should be expected after losing a friend to death.

Don't keep your emotions bottled up. If you feel like crying, cry until the sun comes up. If you have anyone that is willing to listen to you vent, this is the time. 

Don't ever feel like showing sadness makes you weak. Hopefully, your friends and family will help you validate your feelings and will lend an ear when you need it.

Get Help

Sometimes, there is no one available that can talk to us. Or the people available to us don't really have the right words to say.

Talking to a mental health specialist is one of the best things you could do. Of course, they will always listen to you vent but they can give you other ways of coping with the death of a loved one.

It's normal to feel depressed, hopeless, and desperate following the passing of a friend. However, we shouldn't ignore these feelings. If you think you might hurt yourself, call 911 or 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Hotline).

Watch Out for Bad Advice

It is only natural to try to console a grieving friend or family member. Unfortunately, some of us don't really know what to say.

It's not that we don't mean well, we're just not used to being in this situation.

"I Know Just How You Feel"

No one knows just how you feel. Even if they have lost someone, no two situations or people are identical. 

"Time Heals All Wounds"

We often hear some variation of this. Unfortunately, this isn't always true.

It is always going to be painful to remember what we've lost. We just learn to live with it and carry on.

"Stay Busy"

People will often suggest you pick up running or some other ghastly hobby. The idea is that you take your mind off what happened.

Though it is good to have hobbies, it is necessary to process your feelings at some point.

Forgive Yourself

After someone dies, we often look back to think when that person was alive. Were we always good to them? 

Did they have bad habits that we knew were dangerous yet we didn't do enough to 'save' them? Did we enable them or hurt them in any way?

It is important to face these questions instead of burying them. Now is the time make peace with your friend and yourself.

Accepting to Live with the Death of a Friend

Every day is a choice. Some days and choices are harder than others.

However, we're still here and we have to figure out what we're going to do about it. The past is set in stone but we can still choose to live a better life.

Recovering from the Loss of a Friend

The death of a friend is not something you just get over. Years later, certain places or even a melody will be enough to bring tears to your face. But that doesn't mean you won't be strong and survive.

Remember them. Honor them and the love you shared. That's perhaps the best (only) way to make up for lost time. 

Get professional help if you feel like losing control. Check out this page for more advice for those dealing with the loss of a sibling.

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