How To Cope With The Death of a Friend

The death of a friend is one of the biggest / most challenging losses one can experience in life. When a friend dies, it can be extremely difficult to transition from the mourning process into living the rest of your life to its fullest. This does not mean that the mourning process should be rushed by any means, but in order to make this transition, we must allow ourselves time and be compassionate toward ourselves in order to naturally get through the tough times that we will inevitably experience. Here are a few steps that will help you cope with the loss of a friend:

1. Realize It Is Going To Take Time

If you break your leg, you can't expect yourself to get up and walk confidently the next day without feeling any pain, so why is it that one can get angry at their self for having a difficult time dealing with the death of a friend? Healing takes time, especially if the loss was a best friend you spent a lot of time with and/or grew up knowing most of your life. The loss can leave a deep wound that leaves you feeling empty and very hurt. Don't allow yourself to feel even worse just because you feel that way. The sooner you stop beating yourself up about how long it is taking you to deal with the loss, the sooner your body and mind will begin to heal themselves.

God designed our bodies and minds in a way that we will heal in perfect timing. If He had made us with no emotion at all, like robots that continue to do the same things everyday no matter what happens, we'd never grow into anything greater and would have no compassion for others. Death would be something about which we wouldn't care one bit. The healing takes time for a reason... we were made to care about one another and to care for ourselves, and by taking this time we as humans grow in compassion and in strength being able to handle more trials that come our way.

2. Validate How Serious The Loss Is To You

The loss of a friend can be just as painful as the loss of a family member... and sometimes may even be more painful than losing a family member. Should you feel guilty because you are hurting so badly about a friend??? Absolutely not...

The bonds we develop with friends can often go beyond blood relations. It does not mean that you love your family any less. That friend may be family to you in your mind, which is why it is such a severe loss. And in the cases where your best friend is a family member, you may experience an even greater feeling of loss. And in the same respect, if you feel less severe a feeling of loss, don't feel guilty that you don't feel worse. Allow yourself to naturally feel the way you do and cope with the rest from there. Maybe you didn't know the friend as closely as others with whom you spend more time. Even if you wanted to spend more time with that person, it is not possible for one individual to be deeply connected with each and every other person on earth... some people will become closer to you than others physically and/or emotionally. It's a fact of life.

3. Engage Yourself In Activities To Replace The Time You Spent With Your Friend

"What?? Did you say REPLACE the time I spent with them?! My friend could never be relaced!!"

Yes, in fact I did say to replace the time you spent with your friend... but in no way did I mean that the "friend" can be relaced. When you lose a friend, you realize right away that no one could replace that person in your life because of their unique influence they had on your life. But... part of moving passed the initial pains of the grieving process involves learning to enjoy yourself doing other things with your time. Yes, it definitely hurts not spending time with the lost friend, but that doesn't mean you are destined to never enjoy any other pieces of your life. God is much bigger than that. He would never have created you to only be happy when spending time with the one friend. We are all here for each other and there are many opportunities to enjoy life... we just must be willing to experience them. Keep your eyes and your hearts open to experiencing new joys and wonders. And even though it may sound cliché, I guarantee you that the lost friend would want you to find happiness for the rest of your life, not to dwell in a place of suffering until you die as well. They would want you to be happy and simply use the positive influence they had on your life to pass on to others and live peacefully.

4. Know That Others Do Care & Will Understand You

Once again, God would not have created only one individual in life to understand you and truly care for you as a friend. It's hard to believe that, when the lost friend was your closest friend in your life with whom you could share anything, but there are others who do care and will understand you as a person. First step to finding out is opening up your heart and mind for this to occur. If you constantly tell yourself, "No one will ever understand me like (he/she) did!" then your reality is as what you said. No one will be open enough with you to truly care deeply and understand... BUT... when you open yourself up for the possibility of someone else caring for you and understanding you, then you will create that reality and attract those who want to care for you and understand you. You must be open in order to truly experience this because otherwise, your thought that no one will ever care or understand repels any opportunity for things to turn around in your life. Rejoice in the fact that there are absolutely others out there to love you and understand you.

5. Reaching Out To Other People Helps You Cope With Your Loss

I have been told countless times when going through my own recent losses (a broken engagement, the death of my mother, the death of my grandfather, and just yesterday, the death of one of my own best friends) that reaching out to other people helps you to cope with your own losses. At first I thought, "What about me? How is that going to help me feel better? Who is going to reach out to me?!" ... but I can honestly say that one of the biggest aids in coping with your own grief is by helping someone else in need.

One of the greatest feelings in life comes from sharing anything positive you have on the inside of you with others... you end up finding that you have a lot more to offer than you expected, and (at least for me) nothing feels greater than helping to put a smile back on someone's face. There are countless opportunities to do this:

  • Community Service - find out what your community already has in place to help other people - Join them in changing lives for the better
  • Get Involved In A Church Family - Churchs offer plenty of opportunity to help others in need and to get hooked up with others who have a heart for reaching out to others
  • Talk With Others Who May Have Experienced The Same Loss - Ask other friends how they are dealing with the loss - Ask them how they are doing - Share good memories of the lost friend with each other
  • Be Creative - Create new ways to help others - Random Acts Of Kindness - Write Encouraging Blogs - Pick Up Trash On The Roads [take safety precautions, of course] - "Pay It Forward" - ETC

6. Express Yourself Through Journaling, Poetry, Blogging, Songwriting, ETC

If your friend was your primary source of support, you will have a desire to talk with them and share your grief with them. This is natural. I don't know how many times I have picked up my cell phone wanting to call my mom, then realizing that she would not answer. But, there are absolutely ways to help you express how you feel in order to relieve some of the feelings of grief and despair.

Whenever you feel the need to talk to your lost friend, try writing about them in a journal or even writing a letter to them in your journal. If you enjoy writing poetry, write a poem in dedication to them or simply to express what you are feeling in mourning over them. Write a blog about them, maybe sharing with others the positive things you remember about them that have influenced your life. Write a song in their memory. Don't ever feel like you have to sit expressionless in dealing with the loss. Express yourself! Let others know how amazing your friend was by expressing yourself to them! :)

7. Always Remember The GOOD Things About Your Friend

Forcing yourself to forget about your friend is NOT a good way to cope with their loss. Let's face it, you will never truly forget them. And if you are honest with yourself, you DON'T want to ever forget them. Remember all of the incredible memories you shared. Think of how they enriched your life... how they supported you, loved you, laughed with you, cried with you... Share these positive things with others and allow the pain you are feeling to fade as you begin to be an incredible friend to others. You will find that much of the character, integrity, love, personality, etc, that you loved in your lost friend will begin to pour out of you as if they never left you. Their legacy can live on through your actions around others. That is what a healthy form of sorrow will do for you. It will allow you to change more into the person you have wanted/needed to become and has a way of helping others to do the same.

2 Corinthians:7:10 - Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Allow yourself to have a sorrow that produces repentance, a change in heart & mind, that will help you grow closer to God... a sorrow that leaves no regrets... a sorrow that makes you want to be a better person... a sorrow that brings about life, not death. By doing this, you will naturally transition through the grieving process into living your life to its fullest, standing firm on all that you truly are.

A Song That Has Helped Carry Me Through The Loss Of Loved Ones

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Comments 41 comments

Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

The death of anybody to close to your heart will always be a difficult thing regardless of how we react to it on the outset. Thanks for putting things in perspective. And thanks for sharing. :D

SevDiggity profile image

SevDiggity 7 years ago from Hartville, Ohio Author

Thanks for the comment, Cris A! :)

That is so true that our reaction on the outside does not always reflect how difficult something can be for us, which is why it is important we reach out to others, to build a trust to open up and share our burdens with one another.

Abhishek87 profile image

Abhishek87 7 years ago from India

I won't say I can understand how you feel, because I know I can't but really appreciate the fact that you took time to share it with fellow hubbers. Thanks...

SevDiggity profile image

SevDiggity 7 years ago from Hartville, Ohio Author

Thanks, Abhishek87! I appreciate your comment, and thanks for becoming a fan :)

Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

nice hub

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SevDiggity 7 years ago from Hartville, Ohio Author

Thanks, Lgali!

giede-de.... 6 years ago

unmm....i jus wanna say i apperciate you for writing this. i just lost my friend and reading this is putting things in perspective, i guess, for me and helping me heal so thanks

ikiman 6 years ago

is it normal to still grieve over a good friend after 6 months because i think i'm going into depression but hopefully not

SevDiggity profile image

SevDiggity 6 years ago from Hartville, Ohio Author

Giede-de, thank you so much for your comment. I am very sorry to hear about your friend, and I pray that you continue to heal as naturally as you need to. I will keep you and your friend's family in my prayers. Please let me know if I may be able to be there for you in some way. You can either message me on here or my myspace if you'd like.

If you would like, you can listen to two songs I wrote that are on my myspace concerning those I have loved and lost. One is called "You Gave It All" that I wrote for my mom, Elaine (wrote the music before she passed, and wrote the lyrics just days after she passed). Another is called "I'll Be Seein' You" that I wrote after my good friend, Chris, after he passed. Writing the songs was one of my ways of coping with the loss of such incredible people in my life.

SevDiggity profile image

SevDiggity 6 years ago from Hartville, Ohio Author

Ikiman, thank you for your comment, and I'm glad you asked. My number one step in what I believe has helped me to cope the best I could with the loss of my mother, my grandfather, and my great friend is to "Realize That It Is Going To Take Time". Please don't get down on yourself for grieving after 6 months has already passed. The grieving process can be different for each individual, and the best thing you can do is to allow yourself to naturally feel the way you do... but decide that rather than allow that "feeling of grief" to bring you down even more, find other ways you can act upon those feelings. Refer to Steps 5, 6, and 7, again in the article that emphasize many ways you may channel those feelings of grief into things that will be healthy outlets for those feelings. You may even touch someone else's life by creatively finding ways to help others or by using talents in writing, music, etc... whatever you are good at doing or enjoy doing... or by simply remembering those great times you shared, passing that on to someone by telling those great stories, or by creating new stories with other people, using something that reminds you of your loved one.

For example, my mother taught me Origami, the art of paper folding, and I have used that as a music teacher, as a children's church teacher, to use as gifts at work sharing how my mother taught me Origami and it stuck with me... There are many ways that we can use our feelings of grief. And to be completely honest, even after close to 5 years, there are days that are tougher than others dealing with the loss of my mother when I was 23 years old, she only being 50 years old. You will never forget them and you will always miss your loved one(s), but the most important thing is that we take those feelings we get from time to time to channel them into positive things. And if you don't always do it perfectly, don't beat yourself up. It is HEALTHY to have a time of letting those tears out, no matter how long it has been. Keep your head high and know that you are not alone, okay? And the more you channel your feelings into positive ways to reflect on the life of your good friend, the better you will feel overall. My mother's passing has changed my entire perspective on life and has really helped me to become a better man, and even though it can be tough at times, I pray that you do the same, Ikiman. I will keep you in my prayers & please feel free to get a hold of me if I may help you any further. Either message me on my hubpages page or on my myspace:

Your new friend, Ryan

Colleen D'Souza 6 years ago

Thanks, your advice really helped me. I am trying to cope with the passing away of my best friend about a month ago. will try and follow your suggestions thanks again. God bless you.

mistery 6 years ago

thankyou my friend died just yesterday needed some advice.

SevDiggity profile image

SevDiggity 6 years ago from Hartville, Ohio Author

God bless you, too, Colleen! I pray that you will find peace and comfort through it all. You will no doubt find strength as you grow through this. I'm very sorry to hear about your best friend, and I hope & pray that you stay encouraged that you are not alone and will be comforted. Feel free to message me or post a comment to me anytime, even if it is to release some emotions & feelings that you naturally will experience. We are all in this together.

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SevDiggity 6 years ago from Hartville, Ohio Author

Mistery, I am terribly sorry to hear of the passing of your friend, and I pray that you found something in this article that will help you, not just for a day, but for the on-going process of mourning over your friend. Be encouraged that there are many ways to remember your friend and continue to carry on the good that they have passed on to you in your life. May God bless you and strengthen you in this time and bring you His Perfect Peace that passes all understanding. To the everyday person, you should not be able to find peace so soon after losing a loved one in your life, but I am living witness that God's Peace will carry you through. After my mother passed away, I had this incredible peace that didn't make any sense to me, but it helped me get through the toughest of days and still sustains me through other tough days. God bless & feel free to contact me at any time.

Bless 6 years ago

I just lost my very very bestfriend my sister in the Lord week ago. It hurts soo bad its hard for me to eat, sleep, or go about my everyday duty. It's constantly in my head, it truly hurt I want to cry soooo bad just scream. I try to keep busy the thought come rite back especially when I am not doing nothing. It brings chills to my body it hurt, it is very hard for me to come to term of my bestfriend passing. Her death broke my schedule, we speak everyday, go out to the stores. It feel like apart of me is gone. My heart is there with the family I distance myself why? i can not take it I don't won't to break before her children, mother, sister, and the rest of the family. I only cried the day she pass my heart is very heavy. GOD GIVE ME STRENGTH!! By reading what you post help me I need to speak to people that been through what I am feeling now. She was close to then my own sisters as I type this I'm thinking about her just can't get it or her out of my mind. I went to the hospital twice since she passed PRAISE GOD ALL TESTS WAS NEGATIVE. I just missed her sooo much.

SevDiggity profile image

SevDiggity 5 years ago from Hartville, Ohio Author

Bless, forgive me for my delayed response. I am terribly sorry to hear of the passing of your best friend. Yes, I can certainly relate to some of the feelings you have gone through, and I pray for outlets and ways to bring about more PEACE and COMFORT through this time. It is so very difficult at times, and definitely do not think less of yourself for feeling the way you do. Eventually, you will or may already have gotten to the point where you can approach her family and be of comfort to them as they can be of comfort to you. Share in the great memories and love of your friend. Thank you Jesus for keeping you safe and healthy, and giving you strength & hope for better days ahead. Not everyday is easy, but I have confidence that you will be blessed with all you need to get through this and be able to reach out to others who go through the same thing! May God bless you and keep you. Contact me anytime if you would like to talk about anything.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

Very heartfelt and touching HUB. As you know I think you have outlined a positive grieving process. As I'm retired now, I try to live with the awareness that each day could be my last. So I write about Miracles. Peace and Light: Gary

pipoza lolly 5 years ago

I lost ma friend 4 years ago bt everytime wen sumone close to pass away i think of her and it always feels like yesterday do you think i need help or is it normal????????

SevDiggity profile image

SevDiggity 5 years ago from Hartville, Ohio Author

Thanks, qlcoach! :) I will have to check out your hubs about miracles! I'm always interested in that.

Pipoza Lolly, I believe that is absolutely normal. You are never going to forget, and you will always be touched in some way when an experience triggers their memory. The biggest thing is simply realizing that you have the choice whether to let those memories and thoughts to bring you down or to lift you up and make you stronger. One person can experience what you've experienced and become depressed by thinking about all of the negatives of not having that friend here, etc. Another person can experience what you have experienced and allow that thought to comfort them, knowing what a huge influence their friend had on their life. Never force yourself to not remember or reflect, but do your best to remember good things and always choose to honor the memory of their life by using it in a positive way. I wish you the best, and you are not alone. Everyday I reflect on my mother's passing that will be 6 years ago this January 1, 2012, and her memory still strengthens me and enhances my life by motivating me to be the best I can be to make her proud. I hope you find ways to keep doing the same with the memory of your friend.


april 5 years ago


a1990girl 5 years ago

i have losst a friend 9 mouths ago and i a still greving for her and i always cry my self to sleep also i have lost my gramp 4 mounths ago and finding it verry hard to cope with his loss

John 5 years ago

I lost my older brother a month and a half ago. He was 21. he was and continues to be a role model and inspiration for my life. He was pre med and well on his way to become a pharmacist. He was a D1 athlete, and strong believer in Christ. he would have give on to do great things, and I would give anything to have him back and see all the things that should have been. I feel blessed that he got to experience so much before he went. Please party for me and my family

John 5 years ago

Ooops I meant pray. But feel free to party for us too, he would have liked that :)

Kisa Jones 5 years ago

My best friend, Brixtin, is dying... And so am I. And I know all too well that my condition will put me to death first. However, i'm still having a hard time knowing that he's going to die. I wish that I could just give my life up, and ask God himself to let him live... But right now, nothing s happening. Maybe God will answer my prayer when my time is coming. I'm thirteen right now, but it has been estiimated that I am going to die at around fifteen, or twenty. He said that the estimation for him was around twenty-four. But, nonetheless, I am happy to hear these words, as they have made a difference. He has time to live, and I, beig a thirteen year old girl with a very negative mind, need all the help I can get coping with all of this. But this really helped. Thank you for posting this helpful guide. =^-^=

Amelia 4 years ago

Last Friday my two bestfriends were meeting me at my high school to cheer at a game. Their car got out of control and was hit. Both of my best friends were killed.. They were my whole life. Mean the world to me..... Without them I am so alone.. I have pushed away everyone, it's been more than a week I cant go in public without breaking down, I've not been able to even talk to my boyfriend. They were both 16. It's so unfair I just wish I were with them in that car. I feel like i can never go on without them I can't sleep and I couldn't eat all week until yesterday i keep having flash backs of Friday the 24th seeing them one second and hearing about them being dead the next... This is so hard especially because it becAme so public with everyone talking about it on Facebook and twitter.. Even the Jonas brothers found out.. Look up 'perfect two Brenda and thalia' and their video will come up. It's become viral... I'm leaving town for awhile now since no one here understands how I feel and why I keep pushing everyone away.. :(

Emmy 4 years ago

I recently learned that my best friend, who is like a big brother to me, is dying from Congested Heart Failure. The doctor said he has only a few more months until his heart completely gives out. The saddest part of this is that he has only just begun to live...he's 17 like me. Though it's a while until he will pass, I can't help but look at these types of blogs, in the hope that understanding what others have gone through will help me in return. I'm already greif-stricken at the thought of never seeing him again come this next school year, and am not sure how I'll be able to cope around all our other friends. Reading this blog, and all the comments, has made me realize that I'm not alone in all this, and I have somewhere to turn when it is time. Thank you for posting this.

Tom 4 years ago


there is not enough money, posessions, or status that can replace the limited time we are blessed with.

laugh harder than you cry because time is short, and life is fleeting.

the ones you love are going to leave, so cherish the moments you have with them as they burn into your lasting love memories. those are the ones that will carry you through causing the hurts to fade when you begin missing them.

Thank you, God for the opportunities I have had to touch the lives of the ones I love if only for a brief moment in time.

SevDiggity profile image

SevDiggity 4 years ago from Hartville, Ohio Author

Dear April, a1990girl, John, Kisa, Amelia, and Emmy, my heart aches for all of you. I can understand your sorrows and I will pray for you all that you find supernatural peace, strength, and comfort through all you must endure. Thank you, Tom, for your encouragement to all of us in cherishing every moment we have with those we love. Many things in life do not make any natural sense to us, but I know that God's loving arms are always there to comfort us even in the most grieving of times. I will never understand why many of you lost best friends, why I lost my mom when she was only 50, why I lost one of my best friends when he was only 24, but I DO know that God loves and cares for us and can/will heal our broken hearts. We will always see the scar to remind us what we went through, but we can still feel joy, love, hope in our lives and the pain will decrease. We can remember those we loved and still love even after they are gone, and we can still live to make them proud. I love you all, and I know that nothing that can be said can really ease the pain you all may still be feeling even today... but I know the One who CAN comfort you, bring you a supernatural peace that passes ALL understanding, and strengthen you to live far beyond what you believed you could. You are still here for a reason. You have endless potential to change the lives of others for the better by using that fuel given to you by those you love who have passed on. It is our job to keep them alive by being alive ourselves and making a difference in the lives of others. Hang in there. I will keep praying for you all. - Sevy

Emmy 4 years ago

Thank you, Sevy, for your care and compassion. I know it's going to be extremely hard for me when my best friend leaves me, just as I know it must be extremely hard for all of you as well. And I was wondering if anyone here had any insight as to a problem I am having with my friend...

Lately, he's been acting distant. He hasn't been talking to me as much as he used to, and has been pushing me away. Usually, we text each other every night until one of us falls asleep. Now? He refuses to talk to me at all. The other day, I tried finding out what was wrong. He told me he no longer wants anything to do with me, and that I'm nothing to him. I don't understand what could make him say this, seeing as I know I'm not nothing to him. I don't know what's gotten into him. He's never been like this thought was that he's nearing his end, and his way of dealing with it is pushing everyone away...but why would he be so harsh? Please, if anyone has any ideas as to what's going on with me. I don't know what to do...

friends 4 years ago

when i was new my friends fighting with me in st joseph' s tarining centre but is hard for me because my best friend passed away died in hopatial it's hard fro me to make friends with ac't able with my friend Eileen bolye was my best friend so much sameone have hurt me so Badly beause can't gonne throughtout this pins about my best friend jenny Keavnneey and Lorrnae Hession jenny cox there awalys fighting with me and I am really upset about that pine and when I was new in sos i got emtinally beause I was falling in love with matthew Patrick brennan and I can't stop lovering him and i have a curah on him i really in love and fancy him

BrokenHearted 4 years ago

I just lost my best friend to Lung Cancer over the weekend. He was only 18. He and I went through literally Hell and back together. He was also the love of my life. No matter what happened, everything always led back to him. When he passed this weekend, on the one hand I was relieved, because he was really, really sick. And I was relieved that he was no longer suffering. But on the other hand, I was devestated. I shared absolutely everything with him, and we have an 8 month old daughter together. Our family meant the world to him.

We always knew that the day would come when he would no longer be with us, when he was diagnosed, he was diagnosed with Stage 3B Lung Cancer. He decided not to take the chemotherapy because he didn't want to die with all of the side effects, and it would have only prolonged his death. The doctors gave him a month and a half to live. He lived 2 months.

I miss him beyond words. And I wish so badly that he was still here. He's the best thing that ever happened to me. And I just don't know how to handle his death. Especially when we have a daughter together. It hurts like nothing else. And even with the time that I had to prepare myself for his passing, it didn't make this any easier, because nobody truly knows how they are going to feel about someone they love passing away until it actually happens.

Aubbyshan 4 years ago

This really helped me with some of my grief for my friend passed last Wednesday. Even though we weren't really close it still hurts and I still miss him. Thank you for the perspective. :)

love 4 years ago

my best friend died passes away in hosptial and I never see her again and it's really hard on me Beause my friends always fighting with me in st Joseph's traning center but my feelings of Matthew Brennan in my haert and soul but so deely in love with him

BF 4-ever!! 4 years ago

My best friend/co-worker passed away 4 months ago. I can't breath sometimes, I hurt when I smile, I hurt every second of my life. I'm trying to avoid this feeling as much as possible but the pain is heavier then anything. Thank you for taking the time to write this on how to cope with death. People don't understand why I hurt if we were only friends. I'm scared to never see him again..I want to know if he really is ok, if there's really a heaven, if he can see me.

My best friend shot himself in the head and I was not able to help him. I will carry this blame for the rest of my life.

In my memory 4 years ago

My best friend just pass away yesterday. I know for ending her life maybe this is a best thing for her at least she is not suffering. I felt so hurt that make me can not even breath. I really don't know how long it would take for heal but I know that she don't want to see me like that. RIP ....You will be in my memory....

tlhogi 4 years ago

i lost my frnd in august 2008 in a robbery.he was working at

sbv delivering cash to banks they shot him like a peace of nothing,

i still feel the empty space in my heart till that day i dnt hv a best frnd

and am getting married soon n believe me i miss him every day.

jst wish to turn back the clock n tell him i love him so much n nothing will never separate us .wish i cn heal bt nothing cn take that pain away.will always miss mojalefa.may his soul rest in peace.

Lynch 3 years ago

can't Loos another friend but I upset jenny Keaveney and can forgive yourself of it Never meant hurt her

Mary 3 years ago

i lost my beast friend she had cystic fibrosis in lungs and can't cope losing a friend

broking 2 years ago

i miss my dead friend so much

mary 2 years ago

I can't handle my feelings so pain in my haert and suffering of my freindship but I wanted to move my life with Matthew Brennan and take my responsibilities

Hugo 2 years ago

Thx cuz my friend's friend have died 10 years ago and now I can help him when he is thinking about it

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