Coping With The Death Of A Best Friend

Posted Thu, 06/24/2010 - 4:29pm by Kentin Waits

Filed Under:

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. — Ana Nin

Meaningful and deep friendships are a wonderful part of a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, when we are quite lucky, one of these dear friends grows into best friend. A rare title, a best friend is our alter-ego, born of shared history, shared values, and ten thousand laughs. Our best friend becomes part of our chosen family — the first person we call to share a joy, the one we call at 2:00 a.m. in times of emergency.

Last March my best friend, Dale, died of sudden heart attack. There was no indication of heart trouble; I was literally laughing with him one weekend and attending his funeral the next. The shock still reverberates today and I constantly stumble over the realization that he 's gone. As I try to process his death, I have two recurring thoughts. The first: We didn 't even have a chance talk about this — and we talked about everything.The second: I have such a long time to live without him around; how do I navigate the years ahead? Strange the things we ruminate on when grief-stricken.

Dale and I matured into our friendship — connecting first in college, moving to the big city after graduation, building our careers together, detailing romantic misadventures with each other, processing joys and heartaches over countless cups of coffee. Volumes of inside jokes conspired to form a language that was all our own. Without him, it seems I am losing this language entirely. Much of who I am and the way I view the world was developed with him as my sounding board. He was a bit of me; I was a bit of him. The investment we had in each other was broad, deep, and intensely personal.

So how do we survive the loss of part of ourselves? The death of a best friend is different than the death a parent or spouse; there are no sympathy cards that quite fit the bill. There's no term for this loss and folks expect an abbreviated mourning period and offer a different, lighter brand of sympathy. The last four months have given me a crash course in coping and, although I do each imperfectly, there are a few points I keep in mind as I work through the grief. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of a similar loss, I hope these strategies can help you chart your own course in a territory largely unmapped:

1. Take time to mourn

It may not be readily offered, so take the time to mourn and don't worry about some arbitrary timeline as you process the loss. As your life marches on, take an hour here or an afternoon there to remember your friend. As with all grief, the worst stings will subside with time and be replaced by a softer ache. Talk with friends and family, let yourself cry, take trips down memory lane and let this process move forward naturally.

2. Create a legacy

When you feel ready, honor your friend's life through volunteer work or charitable donations in keeping with his priorities and passions. Dale was an animal lover — his cats were like his children. Making a donation to the ASPCA in his memory brought me a bit of comfort and will be the way I acknowledge special dates of our friendship in the years to come.

3. Seek support.

Family and close friends can help you cope with the grief. Don't be afraid to let others know how deeply the loss has touched you. People can only rise to the occasion when they truly understand how much they 're needed. You 'll be surprised how the smallest acts of kindness and empathy can change your entire mood at the toughest moments.

4. Preserve your memories

It may sound cliché, but scrapbooking memories can help tremendously in processing feelings. There were so many things about my friendship with Dale that I didn't want to forget, that the fear of forgetting became a stressor in itself. Document the important moments — keep a journal of random memories or scrapbook photos and mementos. As the years give way to years, you 'll be glad you took the time to preserve these memories while still fresh in your mind.

5. Realize your friend will never be replaced

Friendship is renewable, but people are not. Realize that no person or new friendship will ever quite replace the one you've lost. To consciously seek out a replacement only marks the loss more and highlights the comparative shortcomings any candidate for the title of "new best friend" will surely have. Give yourself time to develop new relationships naturally and let them take their own unique paths.

6. Open yourself up to new and different friendships

Loss rightly shuts us down for a time, but don't let sadness become your new companion. Though no friendship will look or feel quite the same as the old, new friendships can, over time, become just as profound and rewarding. Own your capacity to be a best friend and enjoy the journey toward new connections.

Day by day, I adjust to life without my best friend. On particularly bad days, I take it moment by moment. No doubt, Dale and I had a lot left to learn from each other, but I'm glad we had those 18 years. He will always be partly responsible for the man I've become — the humor I find in life's little absurdities, my ear for good music, my ability to see the best in people. He would have wanted me to write this and would have wanted me to eventually move beyond the grief and embrace new friendships with as much devotion as I embraced ours.



Thank you so much for

Submitted by Nina on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 10:06pm.

Thank you so much for writing this... I have been going nuts trying to figure this lnr\ew life out without my friend,,,

Again, Thank you


i am going through the same

Submitted by Alexis on Thu, 10/11/2012 - 7:13am.

i am going through the same thing that you are doing only thing is that i am 16 years old and my bestfriend cherelle clarke had commited suicide in 2009 i have been blaming her death on me because i had thought that maybe there is something that i could of done to prevent this and i couldn't she had ment the world to me and now she is not here i had so many things planned for me and her to do and now i cant do anything because i rezent myself for letting something like that happen to her and i couldn't help her and now i feel like i was nothing because i didn't


 Hi Alexis   very sorry to

Submitted by baz on Tue, 01/08/2013 - 3:39am.

 Hi Alexis


very sorry to hear about your friend. i lost my best friend when he and i were 17. I'll never forget him and the times we had together, its 3o years on now and i'm married with kids and i often think about what would have become of him if he had lived a longer life. I'm 47 now and i've just lost another dear friend and that why i checked out this site. The deaths of friends and family are always heartbreaking, i'm going through it again now. Some grief is always there to a greater or lesser extent but the deaths that have affected me  also reaffirmed my belief in living a good life and making the most of the time i have on this crazy beautiful planet


Im inspired with the

Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 07/20/2013 - 9:59am.

Im inspired with the exceptional and instructive contents that you provide in such short timing.


I have such a long time to

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/15/2013 - 1:42pm.

I have such a long time to live without him around; how do I navigate the years ahead? Strange the things we ruminate on when grief-stricken.Bal Harbour Condo


they help to light up the

Submitted by Guest on Thu, 10/03/2013 - 5:56am.

they help to light up the problems and how the organization believes about them.additional info


We are a gaggle of

Submitted by Facebook Money Maker on Thu, 05/21/2015 - 6:39pm.

We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a
new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to work
on. You've done a formidable process and our entire community might be grateful to you.


Howdy! This post couldn't be

Submitted by heating and cooling repair on Wed, 06/24/2015 - 5:03am.

Howdy! This post couldn't be written much better!
Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
He constantly kept preaching about this. I'll send this
article to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a great read.
I appreciate you for sharing!


Magnificent goods from you,

Submitted by ubervita w700 reviews on Fri, 04/24/2015 - 7:52pm.

Magnificent goods from you, man. I've be mindful your stuff previous to and you're just too fantastic.
I actually like what you have got here, certainly like what you are stating and
the best way by which you are saying it. You are making
it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to stay it wise.

I can not wait to learn much more from you. This is really a great website.


Heya just wanted to give you

Submitted by Pro Garcinia cambogia on Sat, 04/25/2015 - 10:04am.

Heya just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren't loading properly.
I'm not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
I've tried it in two different web browsers and both show the
same results.


In every company, there will

Submitted by home based business on Sat, 05/30/2015 - 10:52am.

In every company, there will always be some downsides.
As way as their items go, they marketplace numerous
science based mostly nutraceuticals that are created to assist
in your total wellness and properly becoming. Well, mainly because it is tricky to differentiate your products and solutions from other providers this sort of as Herbalife, Pharmanex, Usana, Noni,
or any of the other hundreds of herbal supplement Multi level marketing companies about the planet.


My programmer is trying to

Submitted by Tropicleanse diet on Mon, 06/29/2015 - 8:00pm.

My programmer is trying to convince me to move
to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using Movable-type
on a variety of websites for about a year and am nervous about
switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about
Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it?
Any help would be really appreciated!


When children play these

Submitted by driving games 3d online free for play on Wed, 07/01/2015 - 7:43am.

When children play these games the brain works
harder and helps in improving the alertness level of


very sorry to listen to

Submitted by Guest on Sat, 09/28/2013 - 10:56pm.

very sorry to listen to about your buddy. i missing my best buddy when he and i were 17. I'm 47 now and i've just missing another beloved buddy and that why i examined out this website. visit site


The truth is, however, that

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 10/06/2013 - 7:00am.

The truth is, however, that there exist a number of programs and school loan opportunities to help you finance your education.


The article was written with

Submitted by Dr Oz White Kidney Bean Extract on Thu, 09/18/2014 - 8:55pm.

The article was written with a very good writing technique. You seemed to be a very skillful writer. I like the article, my heart says thank to the author.

Dr Oz White Kidney Bean Extract


We stumbled over here coming

Submitted by source garcinia cambogia reviews on Sat, 04/25/2015 - 12:40pm.

We stumbled over here coming from a different
web page and thought I might as well check things out.

I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking at your web page again.


Sweet blog! I found it while

Submitted by m88 on Mon, 06/15/2015 - 5:10pm.

Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

Many thanks


In every company, there will

Submitted by juice plus on Sat, 05/23/2015 - 8:33am.

In every company, there will always be some downsides. I know some people mix it with oatmeal
and make protein cookies out of it. It helps
increase immunity to aid in fighting colds.


Yesterday, while I was at

Submitted by sextelefon on Tue, 06/30/2015 - 1:47pm.

Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so
she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!


Hi, I do think this is an

Submitted by Facebook Marketing with Targeting Inspector on Sun, 04/26/2015 - 12:23am.

Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it ;) I am going to come
back yet again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom
is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


Why viewers still make use

Submitted by astuce clash of clans on Sat, 06/20/2015 - 7:42am.

Why viewers still make use of to read news papers when in this technological world
everything is accessible on web?


Initially, it is a great

Submitted by Guest on Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:21am.

Initially, it is a great idea to consider how you learn best. Are you much more auditory or are you the type of one who does greater with the written word? There are instructions for both types of pupils.


Hey very interesting blog!

Submitted by Trim Cleanse Diet on Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:30am.

Hey very interesting blog!


When someone writes an post

Submitted by penis enhancer on Sun, 06/28/2015 - 12:56pm.

When someone writes an post he/she keeps the thought
of a user in his/her mind that how a user can be aware of it.

So that's why this post is great. Thanks!


It's actually a great and

Submitted by Anytime Profits System on Thu, 05/07/2015 - 8:12pm.

It's actually a great and helpful piece of info.
I'm happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us.
Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.


There is definately a lot to

Submitted by beautiful tree on Sun, 05/17/2015 - 2:58pm.

There is definately a lot to know about this issue.
I really like all the points you have made.


 Hi I lost my best friend

Submitted by LouLou on Sun, 03/22/2015 - 2:46pm.


I lost my best friend 26 years ago, she committed suicide and I thought and still do if I had been there if there was something I could have done or said to have stopped her, I recently visited a spiritualist who said my friend is by my side constantly, and that it had been a spur of the moment act and she regrets this deeply and is sorry for hurting me, although this comforts me I still miss her terribly and will do for as long as I live, but to know she is with me is a great comfort I just wish I could have spoken to her and hugged her one last time.


I was able to find good info

Submitted by wedding boat cruise on Fri, 04/24/2015 - 10:36pm.

I was able to find good info from your content.


I am not sure where you are

Submitted by potenzol on Fri, 06/05/2015 - 4:15am.

I am not sure where you are getting your info,
but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.


But what makes Vi - Salus so

Submitted by total life changes on Mon, 06/22/2015 - 12:36pm.

But what makes Vi - Salus so different is the use of what is know as a capture page branding both the rep and the company
at the same time. As way as their items go, they marketplace numerous science based mostly nutraceuticals that are created to assist in your total wellness and properly becoming.
Right after reading this Vi - Salus evaluation you are most likely thinking that Vi -
Salus is an excellent opportunity as well as are ready
to get started.


What's up everyone, it's my

Submitted by horse porn on Sat, 06/27/2015 - 5:38pm.

What's up everyone, it's my first pay a quick visit at this web page,
and piece of writing is genuinely fruitful in favor of
me, keep up posting these types of posts.


Your mode of describing

Submitted by nu colon on Sat, 04/25/2015 - 4:48am.

Your mode of describing everything in this piece of writing is really nice,
all be capable of simply understand it, Thanks a lot.


Si ha seguido adecuadamente

Submitted by agencia seo en granada on Sat, 05/02/2015 - 10:27am.

Si ha seguido adecuadamente estos 5 pasos, ahora solo le queda esperar
a que Google plus halle su web e indexe sus páginas.


'This week, I will only

Submitted by rodan and fields on Tue, 05/05/2015 - 11:12am.

'This week, I will only drink one beer on Friday
night, saving myself thousands of calories'.
As mentioned earlier, Visalus seriously isn't a gimmick.
Ryan Blair is the CEO and is the embodiment of the Vi
- Salus vision.


Link exchange is nothing

Submitted by biolift cream on Tue, 05/05/2015 - 11:32am.

Link exchange is nothing else however it is just placing the other
person's website link on your page at proper place
and other person will also do similar for you.


Komm rein ins Domina Studio

Submitted by Liza on Sun, 06/28/2015 - 3:49am.

Komm rein ins Domina Studio und lass dich am Telefon penetrieren und demütigen.


If you wish for to take a

Submitted by max garcinia on Wed, 04/22/2015 - 5:30pm.

If you wish for to take a great deal from this post then you have to apply such techniques to your won webpage.


This piece of writing will

Submitted by miracle smoke reviews on Fri, 04/24/2015 - 11:52am.

This piece of writing will help the internet viewers for building up new blog or even a blog from
start to end.


The FASB adheres to a

Submitted by news on Sat, 04/25/2015 - 5:29am.

The FASB adheres to a transparent, inclusive process
for studying accounting practices and issuing requirements.


)Do you seriously want to

Submitted by network marketing business on Sun, 05/03/2015 - 10:25am.

)Do you seriously want to take your Visalus home business to
a new level. Food being part of the physiologic needs of people should be
taken with some sort of discipline. You must know what to choose in obtaining your goals.


Hi! I understand this is

Submitted by Garcinia Pure on Thu, 05/07/2015 - 10:55pm.

Hi! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask.

Does operating a well-established website such as yours
require a massive amount work? I am completely new to operating a blog however I do
write in my diary every day. I'd like to start a blog so I can easily share my
personal experience and views online. Please let me know if you
have any kind of ideas or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers.


All those lovely kindhearted

Submitted by หนังx on Sun, 05/10/2015 - 9:56am.

All those lovely kindhearted folks listening to me talk about my wonderful accomplishments even although
I suffer so with such terrible afflictions that I wouldn't want anyone else to be afflicted with.
- Bluetooth, Wi - Fi, GPRS connections are another group of battery juice suckers.
"The whole secret of existence is to have no fear nor to let fear have you.


I used to be able to find

Submitted by Aileen on Sat, 05/23/2015 - 2:37pm.

I used to be able to find good info from your articles.


This website was... how do

Submitted by Free Score FInders on Sat, 05/09/2015 - 9:06am.

This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!!

Finally I have found something which helped me.
Thank you!


Hey I know this is off topic

Submitted by Zonecore Super cleanse Review on Tue, 05/12/2015 - 7:56pm.

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet
my newest twitter updates. I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have
some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.

I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward
to your new updates.


I absolutely love your

Submitted by responsive website design on Wed, 05/13/2015 - 10:32pm.

I absolutely love your site.. Very nice colors & theme.
Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I'm planning to create
my very own site and would like to learn where you got
this from or just what the theme is named. Appreciate it!


This site really has all of

Submitted by Ifirmation Cream on Wed, 06/24/2015 - 11:48pm.

This site really has all of the information I wanted about this subject
and didn't know who to ask.


Great post. I was checking

Submitted by m88 on Sat, 06/13/2015 - 8:53am.

Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
Extremely useful information specifically the last part :
) I care for such info much. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time.
Thank you and good luck.


Touche. Outstanding

Submitted by mortal Kombat x Cheats on Fri, 06/19/2015 - 5:23am.

Touche. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great work.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.