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How to Cope With Missing Your Best Friend

Updated on April 15, 2014

You saw it coming

a few years ago, but played the denial game. You even thought that by ignoring the gruesome fact that one day soon, your very best friend, who had grown up every step of the way with you, is going in a different direction that you are.

Words are so useless, numb, and foolish at "the" moment where two lives will change forever. When your dearest ally either drives away or boards a plane. It doesn't matter. The pain in your heart that you dreaded years ago is here in full-force.

You and your best friend vowed when she told you of her upcoming life change that you two wouldn't cry, slobber on each other, and become two shaking piles of Jell-O. But you did.

And to me, it is oh so funny what runs through the human mind as one best friend watches another walk away from their life.

The best friend who is left behind thinks things like this:

  • Maybe she will change her mind. Come on, Jenny. Do not get on that plane. You know how prevalent terrorist attacks are.
  • Wonder if I need to go with her? No, she said she wanted "her" time.
  • But what if she gets sick. No one knows how to get her well but me.
  • I cannot make myself say farewell.

It's just that awful. No one who is a rational-human really "loves" the pains in the heart, the sadness and depression that a moment like this produces.

True things in life do change

There are some ways to cope

with your best friend going her own way.

Remember two nights before "this" dreadful day came, you and her sat up all night drinking cheap wine, listening to John Legend and crying at every memory that came up?

You are forgetting that in this all-night talker, that you and your now-gone best friend promised to call each other once or twice a month. I know. This is not the same. I am aware of this, but this is your time to mature and grow up. Sure a phone call does not replace the special company of a special friend, but you have no option but to accept it at your own pace and life your own life.

Here are only a few workable coping mechanisms to help you overcome the dark nights, sadness, lonely dinners at your favorite restaurant, and those serious talks when you or her broke-up with that "special" guy:

  • Write letters instead of emailing. Believe it or not, writing a letter long-hand is great therapy to help you cope with missing your best friend. Emailing does not call on you to create a soulful letter written in real ink. Your best friend will appreciate you even more for using this method of writing instead of the "quickie" email.
  • Make a list of things you want to tell your best friend when you call her on a certain date. New guys in your life, new job, lost job, new place to live, are just a few things your best friend will love to hear about you. Remember, the pain you are feeling, she is feeling the same pain.
  • Take photos of those special events in your life and send them to her in the mail. Again, do not use an "attachment" system on your email program. To get something in the mail such as your best friend's new photos of things in her life is such a joy and warmth to the heart.
  • Do not lose sight of the fact that you and your best friend are STILL best friends. Trust her. Even if she tells you about having dinner with a couple of new people at her job, do not feel threatened. Unless you hear, "We are through as best friends," from your best friend, do not waste valuable energy in worrying about something that will not happen.

Special bonds are seldom broken

You can do this

you can not only cope with, but grow as a person as you slowly get used to the idea that you are mostly on your own in the physical sense.

Important keys to you regaining your happiness

  • Memories are priceless - so write down, or videotape yourself talking about your best friend and the memories you made with her. Play this at those "down" times when you are so sad you cannot think straight, sure you may cry, but you will also laugh at some of those wacky things you did with your best friend.
  • DO NOT feel sorry for yourself. This is more harmful than good for you. If you wallow in self-pity, do not expect your pain of seeing your best friend board her plane to get any better.
  • Find another relationship with someone in your apartment building or workplace. This is not selling-out your best friend. You are simply enjoying the newness of a new friend. And remember, your best friend who is now living happily in Hawaii, is doing the same thing.
  • There is nothing to gain by being a martyr. Denying yourself a healthy social life is, pardon me, stupid as a rock. Live your life. Be adventurous and who knows where this mindset will lead you.
  • When your best friend calls, or you call her, do not let her the sadness in your voice. Just tell her from the gut, "I miss you so much," and that is sufficient.
  • Meditate and get some alone time with yourself. What do you want out of your life at this point now that your best friend is thousands of miles away? Make a short-list of goals you intend to reach in the near future. You will feel much better.
  • Keep gift-giving to a minimum. Birthdays, Christmas, yes. And the occasional friendship card or small gift to galvanize your friendship is fine, but keep this area in pure moderation.

"Live happy as you can. This is what your best friend wants."

Has this hub helped you cope with missing your best friend?

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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, btrbell,

      Thank you for your comments o this hub.

      I was the leaver once. I left a job and someone I was really close to and although it was not a long way, it seemed like I was in Alaska the next Monday.

      I can relate and feel all of your comments.

      I pray God blesses you all.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dearest Catgypsy,

      I know that your leaving your good friends must have been like my mom used to say, "Like tearing a Band-Aid off of a cut." That is painful.

      Thank you, dear friend, for this and all of your comments.

      Love, K.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Sheila,

      Thank you seriously for saying such sweet things about this hub. And if I closed my account on HP right now, your comment about using these tips in the future would have been worth my four years of grinding, sweating, and doing hubs sometimes three a day when I felt good.

      I appreciate you so much.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I waas also the leaver but that didn't make me miss them less. It simply added more guilt! Thank you foe these all-good suggestions!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 3 years ago from the South

      Being a service brat, I had to leave best friends all the time and it was hard. This is a heartfelt hub with some great suggestions. Bravo, Kenneth.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      This is a wonderful hub. I think all of the things you listed are great tips on how to cope with missing a good friend. I sure could've used these when I graduated from college and had to leave many of my friends behind. I'll remember them and use them in the future.