When Your Best Friend Dies

We got an email last week from someone who lost a friend.  Not just any friend, her best friend.  The kind of friend that is family.  You know the kind of friend I mean.  Here is a little clip from her email:

I have had a terrible time finding anything online about losing your best friend. She was my closest, dearest friend for 25+ years. We lived less than a mile apart. We were like Oprah and Gayle best friends, you know? We vacationed together, etc. She was never married and I’m divorced, so we didn’t have the distraction of families. I have a son but she was childless and loved my son like her own. He’s grown, though, so we were able to hang out daily as best friends often do when they’re younger, before marriages, etc.

Do you have any suggestions for me? I can’t be the only person dealing with this.

Of course she is right, we know she is certainly not the only person dealing with this.  Yet off the top of my head I couldn’t remember reading many articles specifically on coping when a best friend dies.  This of course inspired me to do a Google to see what’s out there which turned up a few sites on losing a pet (your other best friend).  But what struck me most was the simultaneous lack of information on the topic, coupled with an overabundance of vague, generalized crap grief advice.  Articles that are so broad and empty that you could title them “dealing with the loss of  _________”, fill that blank in with just about anything, and have it work.  I don’t know why that continues to surprise me – it was the whole reason we started What’s Your Grief – but it does.

The articles I found gave the same advice you might give anyone grieving:  don’t avoid the pain, remember you aren’t alone, remember all your great memories . . . blah blah blah.  I mean, it isn’t that those things aren’t true; they are.  It’s just that, let’s be honest, in the midst of your despair and confusion related to a very specific grief experience, hearing the same old broad, vague advice again and again is just frustrating.  And finding a post called “How to Get Over Losing a Best Friend That Passed Away”?  Well that just shouldn’t even be allowed because, really?  How to get over it?  Oh, okay.  Sure.  Are there 7 easy steps?

Alright, sorry.  Rant over.

Anyway, all of this is just to say that this post is not going to be about all the general ways to deal with grief.  We have a zillion other posts on coping with grief in a zillion different ways.  All types of loss have their unique challenges and this post is going to be about what makes dealing with the loss of a friend uniquely difficult.  Ready?

Aristotle described deep friendship saying, “What is a friend? A single soul in two bodies”.   Plato reflected deeply and extensively on the nature of friendship and love and then thousands of years later psychologists helped us understand why friendship was worth these philosophers’ time.  We know from a review of 148 studies on friendship that there is a 50% increased likelihood of survival for participants with stronger social relationships.  Yup, people with good friends live longer and are healthier!  Spending time with friends actually reduces stress in women by increasing their oxytocin levels, friendship has been linked with lower rates of hypertension and heart disease and women with breast cancer who had close friendships were found to live longer than those who did not.  I can throw all this friendship data at you, I can share the CS Lewis quote I love, “friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival”, but at the end of the day it is something that feels impossible to describe.  Friendship is deep and powerful and amazing, but it is hard to really explain why.   If you have a close friend you just know what I mean.  No surprise, when a friend dies, like when a family memeber dies, we don’t “get over it”.  We learn to live with it.  It may get different, it may get easier, but it is always with us.

What is it about losing a friend that is particularly isolating?  Why are there so few articles?  Why aren’t more people talking about it?

First, society doesn’t recognize what a big deal friendship is.

You know that your friend is family, that you love them as deeply, maybe even more deeply, than your brother or your mom.  Plato and Aristotle knew.  But society in general?  That is another story.  Society often values family relationships over friendships.  There is a weight given to your relationship with your parents or siblings or grandparents or spouse that comes from the title alone.  Somehow talking about your bestie often doesn’t carry that same weight, despite the fact that your relationship with that friend may have been as, if not more, important.  This can feel especially crappy when a friend dies and those around you don’t give you the same support and validation that they would have had it been a family member.

Along with that, your friend’s family may not welcome you or get how close you were.

This isn’t always true, but if you didn’t know your friend’s family members they may not understand the nature or depth of your friendship.  This could be because they didn’t know you, your friend didn’t talk with them about you, or they just don’t get it for some of the same reasons society doesn’t.  You may want to connect with them, share memories, and be part of memorial events and they may not be as welcoming as you imagined.  This can make an already impossible time feel even harder, as you’re left wanting to scream “I loved her as much as you did!!!!” at them.

It brings up our own mortality.

This one always feels weird or self-involved to talk about it, but it is a fact so let’s all just get over it.  When people die it brings up our feelings about our own death.  This can be especially true when it is someone who is “like” us and our friends are often “like” us.  Research proves it – we are often friends with people who are similar to us in age, health, socio-economic status, education, and who are even genetically similar to us.  For real!  When they die it is a reminder that we will die and, who knows, it could be soon.

It can change your relationship with other friends.

This is a complicated one, because the reasons this can happen are broad.  But it is important because when you are grieving it is often the time that you need support the most and, in some cases, it is the very time that support from other friends can feel hardest to come by for many reasons.  Your other friends may not know how to handle your grief, so they distance themselves.  Or,  you may all be grieving differently and are struggling to support each other.  It is also not uncommon to feel a sudden need to distance yourself from your other friends.  No matter what the reason, it is important to think about how you can make efforts to maintain relationships or seek other support, so you don’t fall into unhealthy isolation.  A good place to start is assessing your support system.

You think you will never have another friend like them again.

And you know what, this is true.  You won’t every have another friend exactly like the person you lost.  Your friendship was as unique as the two of you.  But this doesn’t mean you won’t have other wonderful, meaningful friendships.  When we grieve in general there is often a pervasive fear of losing that connection to the person we lost.  We worry that if we start to feel ‘better’ it means we are forgetting that person or moving on.  With friendships there can be a feeling that, if I let new friends in, I am forgetting or replacing the friend I lost.  Keep in mind, no one is ever going to replace your friend.  Ever.  You will have new friendships, they will be unique and close and amazing in their own way, but they will never be a replacement for the person who died.  That said, opening yourself up to other friendships is a really good, really important thing.

Your friend is who always got you through the tough stuff.

When I think of my best friends, they are the ones I go to when life gets tough: break ups, divorces, financial troubles, school problems and job problems, illnesses, deaths, whatever.  When life gets tough your bestie is often your go-to person.  So when that person is gone you feel especially alone.  You feel desperate, lonely, and devastated and your instinct is to call the one person who is no longer there to support you.

So what can you do?

Well, I am not going to run through all the general grief coping stuff here because you can check out the tons of other posts we have on that – take care of yourself, find ways to continue bonds, figure out your coping style.  But I will mention a couple of things to keep in mind.  First and most importantly, when others around you are making you feel like you don’t have the right to grieve the loss of your friend in the way or time that you need, remember that you absolutely deserve the space to grieve.  Work probably won’t give you bereavement leave, others may not acknowledge the depth of your relationship, but it is important you remember that you have every right to the grief and devastation you feel.

Something that can help with that is connecting with others who have lost friends.  This can be tough because often support groups are for the loss of a spouse, parent or child and, even if it is a general support group, you find it is filled with people who have lost a family member not a friend.  Calling/googling around and looking for a group geared toward loss of a friend can be helpful.  If you can’t find that in your area, many times local hospices and grief centers are willing to place people in groups with individuals with shared experiences when possible.  Talk to your local grief center or hospice and see if they may offer a group that would be a good fit for you.

Lastly, look to music.  I know, this seems like a big shifting of gears, but as I was thinking about friendship and the nature of friendship, it got me thinking about music.  Though many parts of society don’t validate and talk about the loss of a friend, musicians seem to be the exception to that rule.  There are a lot of amazing songs about losing a friend that get at the depth of those relationships and the devastation of the losses.  I have started a 64 songs about the loss of a friend post, but in the mean time here are a few to get you through.  And if you have songs to add to that list, leave a comment to let us know!

A classic . . . James Taylor’s Fire and Rain, written about the death of his friend Suzanne Schnerr, as well as about some of his own struggles with addiction.

How could we skip the Puff Daddy/Faith Evans classic writting after the death of Notorious B.I.G?

Another favorite that I am sure I have shared before, Elephant by Jason Isbell.  In an interview on NPR Isbell explained that this song wasn’t about losing one friend, but about several friends from his local bar who he lost in the years he was struggling with alcoholism.

Okay, I could go on all day on the songs, but I will save that for the 64 songs post. For now just one more: Lou Reed’s My House, about the death of his friend and mentor, Delmore Schwartz. Warning, if you’re not a Lou Reed person this might not be your thing!

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March 28, 2017

95 responses on "When Your Best Friend Dies"

  1. I have read many stories of people whom have lost their best friends. There is simply no measure of pain, grief for such a loss. It breaks my heart to pieces. Sharing your story online, especially with strangers and not those who can judge you brings a great sense comfort and peace but at the same time it feels like I would be betraying a special part of my soul in telling my most deepest inner truth, a pain that is so special and that I have kept hidden and cherished deep within myself for so many years, and at the same time that hurt is a beautiful slow poison that is my only reminder as I am not ( and don’t think i ever will be) ready to face the good and happy times we shared.

  2. I lost my best friend over a year ago and after 40 years of outdoor adventures and sharing a lot of life I cannot fully explain the emptiness and loss of words to express it. My best friend was also my brother in law, my hunting buddy, my camping companion, and meant so much to me. I am full of the memories that right now seem to hurt more than help. I feel like a great part of my life has changed, we loved the challenge to try and outwit the other. We were comfortable together in any situation, I miss my friend, I felt part of my life left with him. He died so suddenly of a heart attack and the world shattered that night. I know I will see him again in heaven, we were both believers and often talked of Jesus. I am trying my best with a broken spirit to move on because I know that even though his life on earth is done that I have to move on , but I miss my buddy. I am just having a tough time trying to adjust to him not being there. I pray God will help my heart to heal and regain my interest again, its harder than some think. I pray for us all on this thread, I hope that all find peace and know they are loved and not alone.

  3. hi i cried just reading all your stories.. i lost my close friend 2 weeks ago and my days have not been the same. she was diagnosed 6 months ago with a rare form of cancer! i spoke to her through out this painful ordeal and never dreamt shell leave me….
    its so painful… i just want to talk to her one more time. she left so sudden…

  4. My best friend passed away just 2 months shy of what would’ve been her 30th birthday from an overdose. The day I found out my heart dropped and I couldn’t move. I couldn’t believe it was real. We had been best friends since 18. She was my first friend at college. We got so close… I considered her to be one of my sisters. It’s been about 6 months now but I still can’t get over it. I don’t think I ever will.

    I’ll never forget the day I found out she was going down the right path. I tried to help her when I could, but I know I could have done more. The pain of living with that regret is something I can’t shake. She was in and out of rehab for years. Many days, she wasn’t my best friend. I didn’t know who she was anymore. Everyone gave up on her when she needed it most, including me. She would send me letters all the time and messages and many times, I ignored them because I was so angry with her abuse issues.

    How can I live like this? With this regret of not being able to do more for her? I know life moves on and that it’s not good to put the blame on myself, but how can I not? She would write to me from Rehab… she knew she had a problem and was trying to get better. She had no family. Her mother killed herself when she was 10 and her dad is mentally ill. It’s so sad because I tried hard at time but I just wish I was more prepared to help her. I wish I would have reached out to other people for help. I feel like it was my fault. Addiction is a disease and this whole situation has taught me that I need to try harder next time.

    I read many of the stories on here and I just wanted to send you all love and light. Thank you for pouring yourselves out and being a light in the darkness. I feel like you are all listening to me open my heart out and it’s comforting during this time. Somehow we can and will get through this or at least learn to live with the pain. We can lean on each other for support and know we are not alone.

  5. I lost 3 friends last year , and now I feel like I’m a ghost ship that’s slipped it’s moorings , and have drifted off into a silent and bleak looking seascape . The phone and computer were my gateway to them , and now they too have died , and all I can think of , is when will I go , and will I meet them again in another reality ? I live on my own since splitting up with my lady partner a while back , so there’s no one around the house to express my feelings too , and therefore they have been put in a box marked…Don’t Open . I can’t cry , perhaps it’s because I’m a man ? I don’t know , these guys grew up with me , we chased girls together , got our first cars together , got drunk , and went through all the rights of passage stuff that young guys do.
    We stuck with each other through all the good and the bad times , our friendship was unconditional , and I consider myself blessed that they were my kind and caring friends , for all those years , no man could wish for more. I’ve read all the pages on this site , and have been greatly touched and moved by the love and painful loss expressed here .
    God bless you all. Chris .

  6. My best friend suddenly passed away a month ago. The whole after process has really hit me hard but in my final year of high school I’m struggling to find find balance and peace in my life. my entire school career has amounted to this last year and as much as I would like to keep pushing myself to succeed I am feeling physically and mentally weak. I’m afraid if I keep going I will eventually break under the pressure and waste all of this. I want to call but what will this do? I know there is comfort in sharing with others but all my life I have been sharing the same stories over and over with different doctors etc, no result. I know that any peace I find is going to come from myself, searching for it is just part of the work. I need advice on what to do with all these different things going on. I feel sad losing such a special bond with someone I love. A best friend relationship is so sacred that I find it hard to really explain it to anyone. The secrets, adventures and simply the way you communicate with this person are so genuine and comforting. I miss the messages, pictures and silly things we sent each other. I miss late night talks, sleepovers, playing cards, music and the only person who has known me for exactly as I am today. I know this is long but thank you just for this site much love, Kristy.

  7. My best friend, trusted colleague, and mutual crush of many years died 7 days before my birthday in Nov 2016. I’m still devastated. Will be forever. I’m with the other commenter, though. If I didn’t keep telling myself that he’s here next to me, helping me through every waking and sleeping hour, and that I’ll see him again “soon”, I’d be unable to cope at times. Fortunately, as you pointed out in the article, his family has realized the importance of our friendship and lovingly embraced me. It helps. Only they can begin to understand my level of grief. Even though theirs is very different all at the same time. Much love to all of you. Thank you for the article.

  8. Paul McCartney’s song Little Willow deals with grieving. Makes me cry and feel better at the same time. He wrote it to support a friend who was grieving the death of someone in their life.

  9. I just want to thank the author of this article. I had lost a best friend back in 1986, she was hit by a drunk driver. The accident was one year and two week to the day I lost my Mom. After I lost my Mom and my best friend I just buried myself in work. The pain was so great I didn’t think I would get through it. Fortunately, a friend of mine and my best friends came back in to my life. I have known her about 45 years and when we got together again, it was like no time had passed between us. We instantly were as close as we had been when we were in our twenties. We gambled together, shopped with each other and even exchanged Birthday and Christmas presents. We were always there for each other no matter what. She developed a brain tumor and had been operated on quite a few times. Her last surgery was a year ago in January and never really recovered from that. She wanted to die at home and the an ambulance came to the hospital, she died in her husband’s arms before he could get her into the ambulance. She died April 26th and I had not seen or talked to her since her birthday in December. She told her husband that she did not want me to see her all bandaged and full of tubes. I crried and I prayed for a miracle. Lit candles, had masses said for her, but it was no use. It was her time. I don’t think her husband ever in his wildest imagination knew just how close we were. Her aunts would come to see me and give me an update on her condition, but I was not allowed to see or speak to her at all. Her aunt would ask her if she wanted to see me and she would just start to cry. At the funeral, the family got to see her in the casket, but not me or my family. I went to the services and it was the most terrible thing I think I have ever endured. I didn’t go back to the house after the services were over, I just couldn’t face those people who I always regarded as my family. I did bring myself to go up to her husband and tell him how sorry I was. He turned to me and thanked me for being such a good gambling buddy to his wife. At that point my heart hurt so much I couldn’t get away fast enough. I went to the east coast for six months, going to church, litting the candle and asking God to please help me with this pain. The day I got home, my daughter took me to her resting place. Alone there, I just let it all out. My daughter had left me to be alone with her. I brought her picture with me and sat on the ground and talked to her, what seems to be hours. When I was away, her husband did call me and apologized for the way he had treated me. I guess all his family and friends did a number on him, excluding me. She was a very private person and didn’t show much affection toward many people,but I know in my heart how much she loved me. I don’t know if I will ever get over this loss, but thanks for giving me a place to write down my feelings. It sure did help.

  10. What do you do when the person that makes every bad thing in life bearable is the one who died.

  11. Thank you so much for this post. My best friend passed away suddenly a little over 3 months ago in a car accident and just about everything here has spoken to the deep, and devastating sadness I am experiencing over losing her. I am having a hard time and the “new normal” is very lonely. Yes, life moves along,…I have a loving spouse, and 4 children (2 who have left the nest),…I have a job that is fulfilling, I have a great community…but my best friend is gone. We raised our kids together, we travelled together, we walked each other through life’s lows and highs,… we were each others best reflections of ourselves that we had in the world. 2 weeks before she passed, we were having coffee on my deck, chatting, when she reached over and held my hand and laughed, “We’ll be doing this when we are 85.” And I was more sure of that than anything else. She was sunshine and missing her hurts more than any other loss I have yet experienced, and I’ve had my fair share. So, thank you so much for this site and in particular this passage, it has been very supportive.

  12. I want to sincerely say thank you to the author of this article and also to those that kindly shared their experience also. My best friend of 25 years is dying of cancer. It is not likely he will make his 37th birthday in 2 weeks. This is truly tearing me apart and I feel like so few people really understand the magnitude of losing your ‘chosen family’ member. There isn’t a person on this earth that means more to me than him. It is really a level of grief I have never experienced, even in spite of losing close family members in the past. I wish everyone who is grieving the loss of their beloved frienda find some peace in their hearts. All my love and respect

  13. I am happy to have read this post. My best friend just passed away 2 weeks ago…i am lost. We have been bffs for 25 years. No one on this planet is as close to me as she was. No secrets, 100% trust. Only she would know how to help me deal with this, but she is not here. My heart feels like its in a vice grip. I am close with her family, but it doesnt make it any easier. WE had totally different relationships with her. MY daughters looked to her as their TeeTee (aunt). ITs really difficult, and i just dont know what to do.

  14. I searched for something tonight on this topic, and found your post. My best friend died suddenly last year, at the age of 47. We were friends since we were 16. She was with me when I met my husband in high school. She was there for the breakups, for the times we got back together…the wedding 10 years after high school…the painful, bitter divorce 17 years later, and the two babies that were born in between. She was better than family. And now she’s gone. She was my rock, and as I think about the rest of my life without her, it looks so empty. She didn’t know I remarried this past July, to someone I knew for 35 years. She won’t see my babies grow up. She won’t see her own children continue to grow….to marry….to have babies of their own. A huge hug to all who have lost one of the most important people in their life as I have. A week after she passed away, I found a dragonfly wing in my kitchen. Never seen one in my life. Supposedly, they let you know when someone you love has visited. Hoping it was a sign from her, I miss her and think of her every day <3

    • Robin, i totally understand how you feel. When i think to the future, it scares me to realize that she won’t be there. I cant even think that right now. I feel so isolated like no one understands how i feel…i feel like this is a bad dream and soon ill wake up and she will say SIKE!!
      This is real, and i dont know how to carry on without her. Also, i believe the dragonfly wing was definitely your friend showing you she is all around you.

  15. I’m so glad I found this post. I have also searched Google many times when I’m feeling helpless and alone. Never finding anything until now.

    I lost my best friend of over 8 years. Just 7 months ago. She was 25 years young She was hit by a truck. I was there and saw the whole thing. I held her hand and kissed her cheek one last time while she laid there in the road. I put my coat on her to keep her warm. Unfortunately she died in the ambulance. Its true nobody truly understands what I’m going through. Our close group of friends are all grieving together in some way. But I was the only one of us girls that was there. I always ask myself why me. And I find it hard some times to seek comfort from my other friends. I know it may be a long shot. But I’m looking for a book to read, one specifically on dealing with a sudden death of a best friend. Losing a best friend is so hard, I never wish it on anyone. Losing a best friend suddenly and violentry is worse. Witnessing it in person is something I’ll never be able to cope with.

    I love you Cailin

  16. I don’t know what to say or do… I am almost 50 years old and have suffered (caused?) loss before in my life but yesterday my friend Joe died… I went to work today and just sat and tried to think of anything else… I failed. I don’t have many close friends and Joe has been my friend most of my adult life, I feel lost and so very sad. Like me Joe is a Marine, like me Joe is a casino guy (we both work in the industry), like me Joe is about 50 years old, like me Joe loved computers and RPG’s, like me Joe loved the casino industry… it feels like I died. I know that sounds stupid but that’s how it feels, I’m never going to see him again… ever… how is that going to work, who am I going to call and talk about this with. it sucks, I hate they way I feel and I can’t imagine that I will ever feel any different. I don’t think I felt this alone when other people (family) died, why do I feel like this now. its worse when a mutual friend calls to say “they just heard”… I want to hang up on them or scream or … I don’t know what…

    “Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.”
    ― Bob Dylan

  17. I lost my Bestfriend 9-6-16, I can’t do anything other than cry. They say thats going to help but including i grew up with him, i lost a “brother”….. I am so confused anymore.

  18. I am so thankful to have come across this article. I have read through all the comments and found some comfort that others are experiencing the pain and anguish I feel. I wish it wasn’t so. I wish all of you weren’t hurting so profoundly. My dear friend, Liz, passed away on Juky 31, 2016. We had known each other since we were toddlers. She was 45 when she died. We were very closes down shared so much during our 40+ years together. We had one of those friendships that felt like we were sisters. After college, we lived in the same state but in separate cities. We remained close but didn’t get to spend as much time in person together. It didn’t matter, we were still very connected. The last five years we kept in touch mainly through Facebook, phone calls and texting. Both of us had small children which made it hard to travel for visits. It didn’t really feel like we were apart. She was always with me. So, I was shocked when I learned about her death on Facebook while I was at work on Aug 1st. I opened Facebook and had 6 private messages from people who were also friends with her from various parts of our lives. “What happened the Liz?” “I am so sorry I know you were so close.” “Do you know what happens and her arrangements.” It went on and on. I was in in total shock and disbelief. I called her mother and she told me Liz had passed the day before. She went on to say she didn’t realize I didn’t know Liz was ill. Apparently she had been sick most of the summer and in the hospital the whole month of July! Last we talked was in Late April. She didn’t tell me she was sick. She didn’t tell me she was dying. I can’t even comprehend that. I can’t process it. I can’t deal with imagining her in so much pain and not being there for her. At her funeral, they had some pictures of her out. One was with me. It was painful to see. During the service I couldn’t contain my grief. I looked around at everyone and people were sad and dabbing their eyes, but I was completely sobbing uncontrollably. Maybe they all knew she was sick and had some time to process it? I don’t know. I just felt like I needed to run out of there. So now, I am trying to understand. I am trying to make sense of it all. It’s such a profound loss. I can’t believe I can’t just pick up the phone and talk to her. I can’t believe I can’t text her and get an answer. I am shattered and trying to figure out where to start in my grieving process. So, this is where I am starting. Thanks for listening.

    • Hi Claire,
      Out of all the posts, yours is the one that resonates with me the most. I am so glad there is an article here for best friends. I lost my best friend unexpectedly on Sunday and tomorrow are the services. I’m dreading this. Like you, we texted every single day almost 15x a day. Even though I moved to Arizona (from Rhode Island), we continued to get closer. And we told each other everything. We basically experienced being pregnant with our first babies together. People do not understand this intense loss. I even told my mom that I didn’t want to come bac to RI again unless I had to and she got mad at me.
      I hear stupid phrases like she was gone to soon but “I take comfort in the fact she’s resting in the arms of the Lord??!! What??!! There is no comfort to me about this at all! She’s leaving behind her boyfriends of 20 years and a 5 year old son. There are some horrible people walking around living till their 80+ old. It’s always the people who have so much to live for who are taken from us too soon. She had an autoimmune disease but never at any point I expected her to die. I’m so heart broken, anxiety ridden and I feel like my soul is gone. I think about once the services are over it’s final. I will go back to my way of life in Arizona. I’m a stay at home mom, and my best friend stayed home but it was due to her illness. I’m railed by the fact I won’t be able to text her silly things anymore, talk about life, our kids and even wine. Every time I came to RI my trips revolved around her. She was so special. It will hurt to come here. She literally died a month before to the exact day of her 40th birthday. I was supposed to celebrate her birthday not come here for her funeral. I have waves like this can’t be real.

  19. it has been 2 weeks since i lost my best friend of 30 years. we raised our children together, buried our parents and her husband, as well as our precious pets. we have had full lives and enjoyed great adventures together. but, i cant stop being weepy. i was accepted and included by her children (they call me their other mother as mine did of her). our friendship was unusual, it was something i dont see in other relationships but on this site, i feel there are numerous people that understand how deep our friendship was.

    i took her to the emergency room, i thought it was a kidney stone. she told me “this is much worse”. after the diagnosis of cancer in 5 organs, she told me she wouldnt make 6 weeks. she died 6 weeks later – to the day. it feels like i should have been able to get some of this under me. inspite of the time sitting at her bedside, i cannot stop. i want her back. i want just a few more times on the phone with her.

    my children and hers have taken to calling me frequently and asking “how are you”… i am so sick of that question. i am heart broken. i cry at anything and i am not a crier – she was! my son told me that they have all talked about me… which feels odd. but he said they are all very worried because – look in the mirror – youre a mess. but, i feel like i just have to continue this slow, SLOW, painful, sorrowful progress at whatever speed i can. i hope it doesnt take forever to stop hurting so much, i know i will miss her forever. i will always feel so lucky to have had her with me for so long and through so much.
    i love you elizabeth. good bye

  20. Christina ArnoldinJune 16, 2016 at 11:37 pmReply

    Wow.. This article is awesome.. My best friend died suddenly one month ago yesterday. It was a devastating blow. I am fortunate though, as her family treated me as though I was family. Especially her daughter who I’ve know for 20 years. They included me in the planning of the service. Mentioned me in the obituary, and talked about our friendship in the eulogy. Her daughter asked me to ride in the family funeral car, and insisted that I sit with her during the service. I was honoured. However, I really feel that most people do not I understand the depth of my grief. In the weeks since, I have gotten back to my normal routine. Although I think about her several times a day, I haven’t really cried for her since about the second week after she died. Last night I had a dream about her for the first time since she passed away… We were in a field. It was a warm and sunny morning. I was crying, and told that I missed her.. She wiped a tear off of my cheek and told me it was oaky. I then hugged her. When I woke I could still sense her warmth, and feel her hair against my face. While I’m grateful that I had this dream, I’ve also felt sad all day. As I tried to fall asleep tonight, the tears started to roll down my cheeks. I got up, turned my computer on, and searched grieving the loss of a best friend. This is the first sight I clicked on, and I am so glad I did. It’s helpful to know that someone actually understands what it is like for the best friend who is left behind…. Thank-you so much.. Your words have been very helpful.

    • Profile photo of Litsa Williams

      Ah Christina, I am so sorry for you loss but so glad her family has shown such incredible support. And what a beautiful dream, but I imagine it could make for a sad day. I am so glad you found our little corner of the internet. I hope our other articles are also of help in your grief.

  21. I don’t think i could have expressed myself better than Brandi. I lost my best friend a little more than a year ago and then my father unexpectedly. My best friend was the one person i shared absolutely everything with – we were friends for over 50 years! since before we were babies as our parents were friends. Now my father with whom i was close, has gone but my best friend too. as Brandi said, i miss me. I will not be the same again….no matter how hard i will try…i know me!

  22. Thank you. I lost my best friend not yet a year ago. She was only 38. I struggle all the time. You have hit the nail on the head on how I feel and how others don’t understand. Some have told me that I am letting it get me down too much. They say they miss the old happy Brandi. I don’t know how to tell them, that I miss me too. But I am not sure how to get that back or if I ever will. I too and looking for a group to talk to. I don’t know of anyplace where I live, but doesn’t anyone know of a group on FB or anything that I could join to talk with others who are experiencing or have experienced such a loss?

  23. My lover and friend of nearly 35 years died at my feet and I couldn’t revive him. He died from a massive heart attack and couldn’t have been revived even if medical attention had been there. His family didn’t know me and are a little hostile. I wish I was dead too. My life is feeling very empty right now although I have some wonderful people in my life and appreciate their support. No one will ever replace him and I’m not sure if I want to keep on living. He died yesterday at 900 am. His family has told me there will be no funeral just a cremation and scattering of ashes. I wish I had died too

  24. Hi Julia,
    I don’t know what to say but I wish I could squeeze you and give you a big hug. It hurts, it sucks, but please don’t give up! I’m here to chat if you want, or I can send you my personal email if you want to chat. Please don’t give up. Please reply and let us know that you’re ok! Sending big big hugs to you xoxox

  25. hey, im julia. my bestfriend was shot on juner 1st. i dont know how to handle this. we planned our futures together as best friends we said we would share an cheap appartment here in new york. he was shot and killed over stolen money that he didnt even steal. they beat up his brother shot his other friend and killed him. i cant belive this happend it happend so fast. i have alot of support but idk if its working. i trap myself in my room and cry till the pain is gone. ive become depressed. i need him, im forever lost with out him. his funeral was sunday. everyone cried so hard me especialy. i stood there stsringing into his face crying. but no expression. i cant imagen how there family is reacting to this. it hurts me. this makes me relize that everyone dies not matter what so i feel like it couuld happen to me so easily so whats the piont. idk what to do. im 14 years old he was 16. im done

    • Profile photo of Eleanor Haley


      Your loss is SO recent and from what you’ve expressed your feelings sound normal and appropriate considering the traumatic loss you’ve been through. I would encourage you to lean on your support as much as possible. It isn’t always obvious that ANYTHING is working in grief, you just cope with things one day at a time, bit by bit, and eventually things should get easier. This sounds like such an extremely intense and profound loss for you, if you have the choice I wouldn’t rule out the idea of talking to a counselor, just to have an objective person to talk to. I realize that right now things may seem pointless and meaningless, these are common feelings in grief, but please hang in there.


  26. My best friend of almost 40 years died yesterday morning from his 3rd stroke. He was like my big brother, the one person I could talk to about anything. His family doesn’t know me, I only have contact with his ex, and she doesn’t like me. He lived 500 miles away, and I have guilt for not visiting this year, or being a better friend. I am devastated, like someone punched a hole in my heart. Sometimes I can barely breathe. I am trying to focus on things to keep busy, but sometimes I just want to throw up.

  27. I just lost my friend of 11yrs, we met when she did my hair for my wedding and became best friends since. I have never lost anyone so close to me, I have 1 sister i am super close to, ( i have 4 sisters, 1 brother) I dont know how to cope with her loss, I blame her boyfriend who should have been taking care her… She had 3 children…She was my best friend,Hairdresser, And all around a great person.

  28. I recently lost my best friend. We’ve known each other since we were 17. I remember the first time I saw her I thought she’ll never like me. She was just too cool — everything I ever wanted to be. Once I got to know her I saw the warm person underneath and we hit it off, much to my surprise because all my life I was made to feel that I was not likeable. I was the black sheep in my family and constantly got into trouble even if I didn’t do anything! I was the target for all their frustrations. Needless to say I was not close to any member of my family and was too happy to move out once I got the chance to. This is the time I met my best friend. She welcomed me into her home, introduced me to her loving parents and siblings. To this day I thank her for doing this because I never knew what a normal, happy family is like. I only knew hurt, fear and hate with mine. We’ve been friends for over 25 years and have seen each other through boyfriends, marriage and children. I thought that we’ll grow old together. My friend died after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was strong and fought to the end. I miss her so much. She’s the only one I’ve told everything to. I’m not someone that can open up to anyone but with her it was just so natural. Now that she’s gone I don’t have anyone to talk to. I do have friends who I will discuss normal things like our children to but topics on a deeper level, not yet! I am not looking to replace her, nor would I ever dream of it. She is irreplaceable. I am hurting very badly as it is like losing a family member I cared a lot for. I have also become fearful of losing my husband and child. What would I do then?

  29. Thank you for this article….I too lost my best friend and had a hard time with the loss. She battled cancer for about a year and passed on my birthday which is two days after Christmas. Watching her demise absolutely tore me apart, the look in her eyes still haunts me. I prayed so hard that she would make it through the holidays, I hated the thought of her family having her death on a holiday as their memory. So, in a way God answered my prayers. I can’t tell you how alone I felt after her death. It was like other friends were moving on and I couldn’t….I wasn’t ready to be happy yet if that makes sense. Even though it has been over a year, I still miss her terribly. My friends and I honor her through different cancer related activities and stay in touch with her sister and granddaughter which helps a lot. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and some of the fun times we had. I honestly feel like I lost a part of myself when I lost my best friend.

  30. I was ecstatic when I saw these post as well. So, Today is her Birthday and I feel lost. Our kids graduated from the same Pre-K school. Since then they have graduated from college. It’s hard and each day it is supposed to get easier. It hasn’t. At my age, true best friends only come once. I’m still trying to figure out my next move. Vacations, gatherings, birthday celebrations are not the same. I’m trying though. I miss her immensely. (BFF)

  31. Wow I can’t believe I have found other people who know what I’m going through. My best friend-soul sista passed away unexpectantly, just 2.5 months ago.. Just 2 wks before both our 30th bdays.. We’re both not married or have our own babies, we’ve lost the chance to ever share those things together like having our babies grow up together, or see each other get married ..f%*^! 🙁 how can she just die!? I don’t understand.. We will never get to grow old together, or talk again on the phone for hours like we’ve done since we were 13, nothing, that’s it.

    Its the most shittiest feeling ever when the reality of it hits you. My beautiful friend, I don’t ever want to try replace her (nobody could anyway), I just want her back, I want her to call me & I realise it’s all a dream.

    My emotions have been all over the place, at first it hit me hard, then a few weeks later I thought I was going through the grieving process quite well, I gone through the denial, sadness, shock, feeling greatfull and crazily happy for my great life i have and thankful for all the years and memories I’ve had with my beautiful friend but now going through a weird/ crazy stage where my mind isn’t clear and I don’t know what I want anymore or what I’m doing..
    I’m Lost.
    Sending love to everyone going through this. X

    • Profile photo of Eleanor Haley

      Hey Lizzy,

      Although people sometime like to try and sum up what we go through in grief into neat little stages, one should truly expect the unexpected. We actually wrote a post about how grief can literally make you feel crazy..

      I’m sorry about everything you’re going through 🙁 Hang in there.


    • Wow LIZZY, I just posted about my best friend that suddenly died only weeks ago and you get what I’m saying, I don’t know what to do, I cannot move on, denial, it’s not true, but it is, this feeling I never felt even when grandparents or other family died, Robin and I were a team, without her I have nothing, I’m alone, there is no more team, I feel you lizzy that u understand how I feel, I just want her back, I cannot get over this, how are you doing? Cuz I’m at the point where if I knew I could be with her if I died, I would, but the problem is Noone knows that, and I’m NOT suicidal, so I don’t want people thinking I’m going to, although if I knew I’d be with her again I would, but again Noone can say that, so I’m alone, I’m lost, and there’s no cure and I’ll feel this way a year from now, this is REAL, unlike I think I never thought I’d be this way, I just don’t know what to do with myself cuz Robin was my life, now that shez gone, I feel like I have nothing and alone, there is no more team, Johnny &Robyn, now is no more, it’s just sad, pathetic crazy Johnny and I’m crushed.

      • Hi Johnny, sorry for the late response, I forgot to check the page for a few months. I’m so sorry for your loss & I hope you’re doing ok? Sounds like you really loved Robin a lot 🙂

        I’m glad you can resonate with my post, because not many people get the pain and sadness we feel, I’ve came to realise that I think it’s because not everyone gets the chance to find great people like we have and they’ve never shared such a deep connection with someone like we have, so until then, I don’t think anyone can ever truly understand. But, we can feel blessed to have someone so special in our lives for so long hey, it’s never long enough, but how lucky are we 🙂

        It’s now been 9 months since my best friend passed away (this whole year has been like a big blur),I’m doing ok thank you for asking, I appreciate it 🙂 but I’m finding that life has kind of gone back to normal, still I think of her everyday.. Still have conversations with her in my head (I can hear her voice still so clearly) I’m always talking out loud to her when I’m home alone just waiting for her to reply lol (I know, now I sound crazy haha), but who knows, maybe she will?! 🙂 some days my mind just gets stuck on her & I go through all the letters and photos and just cry, but other days I feel like what’s wrong with me, why aren’t I upset, i guess I feel bad as it feels like I’m moving on. But the pain is always there, I’m just learning to adjust to a new life without her here with me. Somedays I even forget for a moment & I think ‘oh I should call…’ Then I remember 🙁 One of the saddest things happened last month when I went to her brothers wedding overseas, she and I had been planning to go together for a few yrs, but I still wanted to go as I’m really close with her family (just like I’m another child of theirs). They spoke about her on the wedding night in the speeches and I just couldn’t stop myself crying, it was crazy.. Just broke my heart realising that she was meant to be right there with me, in real life, partying with me, except her photo was there on a card on top of everyone’s plate with the information for a charity which had been set up for her. Was so sad for me, but I was there with her whole family who know how deep our friendship was, was just a sad moment when reality hit me, and also knowing that was the last thing we have ever planned, that’s it. We had made no plans beyond the wedding, now it’s been & gone, & life is still moving along fast. So the only real thing I’ve gotten from all of this now is to just really live life now, to the full. I don’t want any regrets. I can live happily knowing that my beautiful best friend knew how much I loved her, not just from things I would say to her, but from my actions, I think that is the main reason why some days it feels ok. It’s a satisfying feeling knowing that she knew that I loved her & vice versa, she knew she had a good, real friend in me is satisfying. Sorry for my rambling on.. But I find it really therapeutic talking about her, so hopefully talking about Robin can help you aswel 🙂 I also remember those feelings like yours, just wanting to be with them. I thought well I’m going to die someday, so I don’t care now.. But also like you, I would never do anything like that. That’s just how much we miss them and would do anything to be with them, that would be just my luck, do something crazy and realise there is no ‘after life’ where we get to catch up with all our buddies who have passed away haha.

        Do you have many close friends/family you can talk to? I feel like talking about our them is so great, to share your stories. If not, come back here and chat with us 🙂 I really hope everything is ok, let us know you’re doing. 🙂

    • Lizzy:
      Help From ‘the God of Comfort’
      God knows what causes depression and how to help sufferers cope. He provides comfort in his Word The Bible And If You Don’t Have A Bible I’ll Have
      It Delivered Free Of Charge………

  32. I lost my best friend suddenly on Nov. 3 2015. Now what? Who do I call? Who do I talk to? Nobody else knows me like her. She was the best family I ever had, yes, that person.. Her daughter is my God daughter, her sisters are my friends, I have to stay strong. It hurts so bad and I feel lost. Tear drop.

    • My best friend Robin died literally suddenly out of nowhere, her and I kno everything and did everything together, I just cannot get over losing her, it’s not real, but it is real, I feel so alone, and I want to call her, I’m empty, there is nothing that can fill this void, this sounds bad but I don’t feel like I can move on from this, I can’t and I don’t know what to do, I just want her back, I experienced death w. Others but never like this, Noone gets it, I can’t move on, I’m stuck. I have another good friend but she has a husband and a 3 y.o. child so she has her own life, Robyn was my life, now she’s gone and I cannot accept it, this is the worst I have ever felt, if I did die would I be with her ??? I guess Noone knows that answer, I’m not suicidal but if I knew I could be with Robyn mabey i would, we were that close, honestly i dont know what to do with myself, I’m just existing, I don’t think anything can help, also I had no idea I’d be this way before she died, we were normal happy people, also she was one of the strongest people I knew and her death was sudden, spoke to her the night before, it hasn’t even been a month yet, people say it will get better, NO it wont, as long as she’s gone, the void ,the emptiness will be there, and I don’t know what to do……

      • I also lost my best friend 4 months back. You can never get over it. Just have to get on with continuing your life, be there for the ones that still need you. It’s not easy and you will think of your friend everyday.

    • Dana How Do We Know That God Wants to Comfort Us?

      “‘Comfort, comfort my people,’ says your God.”—Isaiah 40:1.

      “Happy are those who mourn, since they will be comforted.”—Matthew 5:4.

      “Throw all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:7.

  33. In October 2015 I lost my best friend one week after her 21st birthday. She was my biggest support, my sounding board for every hard question had or choice I had to make. I could tell her anything and be completely myself, I never had to hide any part of myself from her. She believe in my wholeheartedly and I loved her so much. She was so strong, funny, and outgoing. I miss how completely dorky and ridiculous we could be with each other. Tomorrow will be five months now that I’ve had to struggle to live without her. I hate who’ve I become without her. She always told me that I was the kindest person she’s ever known. But I feel the pain and heart ache have hardening my heart. I miss her everyday every moment some days I’m so lost and numb it’s hard to breath. I try so hard to be strong and on the outside it seem that I’m ok but I’m not.
    What people don’t understand about losing your best friend is that you lose apart of yourself when their gone.
    I hope one day it becomes barable but for now it’s unbearable pain.

    • Isabel I know exactly how you feel. My best friend died 12 and a half years ago when we were just kids. We were so close, we understood each other in ways no one else could I loved him more than anything. In the wake of his death my grief, anger, and lonliness took the sweet little girl he had known and loved and turned her (temporarily) into a fearful, anti-social little monster. Eventually though, I realized something. That wasn’t the life he’d have wanted me to have… so I let down my walls and tried to get my life back. I understand completely if you’re not yet at the point where you can do that but, I have to think that your friend would also want the best for you, and letting this change you probably isn’t it… keep that in mind.

    • A mother comforts her little boy
      Do you remember falling down when you were a young child? Perhaps you cut your hand or scraped your knee. Can you recall how your mother comforted you? Maybe she cleaned the wound and then put a bandage on it. You cried, but her soothing words and warm embrace soon made you feel better. At that time in your life, comfort was never far away.

      But life gets more complicated as we get older. The problems get bigger, and comfort becomes harder to find. Adult problems, sad to say, can rarely be solved with a bandage and a mother’s hug. Consider a few examples.

      Have you ever faced the trauma of losing your job? Julian says that when he got fired, the shock left him feeling distraught. ‘How will I care for my family?’ he wondered. ‘After I put in years of hard work, why does the company feel I am useless?’
      Perhaps you are devastated by the breakup of your marriage. “When my husband suddenly left me 18 months ago, I felt a sadness come over me. It was as if my heart had broken in two,” explains Raquel. “The pain was physical as well as emotional. It frightened me.”
      Maybe you have a serious health problem that shows little sign of improving. There may be times when you feel as did the patriarch Job, who lamented: “I loathe my life; I do not want to go on living.” (Job 7:16) Perhaps you share the feelings of Luis, a man in his 80’s, who confessed, “Sometimes I feel that I am just waiting to die.”
      Or possibly it is the death of a loved one that makes you yearn for comfort. “When my son died in a tragic plane accident, my first feeling was disbelief,” explains Robert. “Then came the pain, the pain that the Bible compares to having a long sword run through you.”—Luke 2:35.
      So remember Claire you can find comfort, even in those distressing circumstances. They found the best Person to provide it—none other than Almighty God. How does he provide comfort? Will he likewise provide the comfort you need?

  34. Thank you so much. I lost my oldest friend 8 months ago and I had no experience on grief and I needed information about my situation and (just like you said) there isn´t much info out there. This post helped me a lot, because I think I still haven´t figured out how to cope with my grief. I really think you should keep talking about loosing a friend, I´d suggest you did a post about how to deal with grief (for a friend) on special ocassion. My birthday is this week and I don´t really think I can fully enjoy it without him, he has been with me on my birthday for 18 years, mi entire life! I never thought I would be afraid of celebratin my birthday. And it may help others as well.

    • We must do something if we want comfort from God. How could a doctor help us if we never made an appointment to see him? The prophet Amos asks: “Will two walk together unless they have met by appointment?” (Amos 3:3, footnote) The Scriptures therefore urge us: “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.”—James 4:8.

  35. Lost my best friend at 9. He was my partner in crime, my strength, my solid ground, we’d always known that we weren’t like “other kids” we were both born with birth defects and had to fight to survive, because of that we understood each other on a level our own parents could not. We were the same, and in the years since he died I’ve been through hell trying to make sense of how such a sweet natured kid, one who never complained about the godawful hand he was dealt, could be struck down just when it was starting to seem like he might actually make it. Survivor’s guilt, emotional shut down, telling the Man Upstairs to “suck it”, crying myself to sleep, trying to picture what he’d be like today, been there, done all of that. I finally found meaning in trying to raise awareness and push for better care for future generations of kids like us, so future friends and siblings don’t have to suffer the way we did.

  36. I’ve now lost two best friends who I considered sisters. Tracie passed in 2006 when her husband murdered her then commuted suicide. Jeannette just passed last November when she shot herself in front of her fiance. He then took his life one month later.

    I can’t seem to get past this. I cry a lot and sadly, I’ve turned to drinking. I’m in therapy, I’m on medication for anxiety.

    I do function daily. I smile and laugh, I have a wonderful job and pay my bills. I take care of my children and live my life, but my heart hurts so much.

    When Tracie passed I started getting panic attacks and started therapy. When my daughter’s father passed in 2010 I tried to take my own life twice. I ended up in a mental hospital for a week and it helped me cope with everything.

    Now with Jeannette’s passing, I’ve been able to take everything I learned and use it to cope. Thankfully I do not have suicidal thoughts. I can not and will not cause this much pain to the people I love.

    I’m so sorry for everybody who’s lost their best friends, the people who they chose to be their brothers and sisters. Thank you for sharing your stories and I hope I can help at least one person with mine.

    One love… Sasha

    • Hi Sasha, thanks so much for your comments. I’ve nnever lost somebody close to me until last week. Her and I have been best of friends for over 20 years. I never thought it would be so hard but i am having the hardest time. I am 36 and we became friends when we were in 9th grade. Her family are amazing people and look at them as second parents. When we were younger when ever i would get in arguments with my parents I would call her and even though i would run away from home I would call her and she would pick me up somewhere. My parents would worry at first and be upset but it was a kid thing. I was wandering though because I was so close to her family and her family all ready told me that i would always be apart of there family, but aas wondering if when I go over there do you think it will be difficult to go over there which im going to because im so close to them and care for them but just want to be ready whats ahead. Thank you so much

  37. Thank you for this…I lost my mother in 2006 and my father in 2008 by the time i was 24 I had lost both my parents…I felt so alone, but my bestfriend was there to help me through it and in Feb 21st 2015 my bestfriend another friend and I were in a fatial car accident thay both didn’t make it, god only knows why I made it…I struggle everyday with the lost the pain and the nightmares I’m just glad to know that I’m not alone dealing with stuff like this..Thank you again for this…

    • My story is not the same. But I know there is a different pain in grief when guilt (of one kind or another) is involved. The person I go/went to has been gone for 10yrs. We became best friends at age 4. We were supposed to do everything together. She died without me. Not only did she die and I live but because of my denial I was not there the last days of her being awake, she died a week later. The pain today is greater than that when she died. I’m not trying to imply that you do or should feel guilt. I’m just seeking comfort. ” misery loves company “

  38. Thank you for this…I lost my mother in 2006 and my father in 2008 by the time i was 24 I had lost both my parents…I felt so alone, but my bestfriend was there to help me through it and in Feb west 2015 my bestfriend another friend and I were in a fatial car accident thay both didn’t make it, god only knows why I made it…I struggle everyday with the lost the pain and the nightmares in just glad to know that I’m not alone dealing with stuff like this..Thank you again for this…

  39. I was thinking the same, my husband was so many different things than just my husband…he was my best friend for thirty-two years, we did everything together. I never imagined my life without him…now I’m without him, his touch, his wisdom, his words, everything…I miss everything about him!

    • Dana R. I hear you. My husband also was my absolute best friend. We spent all our time together. We had dear friends, yes, but always at a distance. Someone called us “a unit”! It’s been just 10 weeks…This Spring without him… I hear you.

  40. I was very touched by this post. 13 years ago I lost my best friend to illness. For years I thought about a way to honor her. Last year I decided to look for other women who had experienced a similar loss of their female best friend and interview them to find out what their friendship was like and how they dealt with its loss. I now have over two dozen stories that will be launched shortly at a new website I’m creating called Friendship Dialogues (www.friendshipdialogues.com). I’ve already set up a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/friendshipdialogues/?ref=hl) to get the conversation going. Please feel free to visit the Facebook page and learn more about Friendship Dialogues. When the website launches you’ll be able to read the stories I’ve collected and add your own story of love and loss. Friendship Dialogues will give women a place to both cherish and share their memories of their friendships with other women. I hope all women who have experienced this type of loss will find talking about their loss a comfort.

  41. Thank you thank you thank you for this. The end of next month will mark 2 years since I lost my best friend in the world, and your words are spot on. I’ve only found one or two people who really understand the depth of this loss, and others’ lack of understanding makes it that much more lonely. Especially when she was the one I had turned to for support for 17 years. I’m still stunned some days at how much it still hurts and how fresh the wound still is, even after almost two years. Thank you so much for reminding me I’m so very NOT alone in this.

  42. I lostmy very best friend in 1999. In the years since then, I have never found a way to describe our relationship or express my loss and the way you have in this piece…..AND I feel like I could have written this. I have written a lot of material that I’d like to make into a book, mostly because I wish I’d had a book when she died.
    Thank you for this.

  43. This article couldn’t be more perfect. My best friend died in 2012 and although I’ve gotten better, I still have bad ddaysthis article made me realize how lucky I am that I’ve had such an amazing support system. I’m still close with his mom and talk to her frequently, I even send her flowers on mother’s day as I feel he would do for my mom if things were reversed. I’m looking forward to your song list….a newer one I would suggest is You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell. It makes me sad some days, but in my opinion it’s healthy to cry when you need to. Cheers!

  44. My nomination for your 64 songs list is Jackson Browne’s “For A Dancer”. I found two versions on You Tube, recorded live, 20 years apart, both with David Lindley accompanying Jackson on the violin. I also found an interview in which Jackson said that the song had been written for a friend who died in a house fire. Listening to it always brings tears to my eyes.

    • Great article. Thank you for “just a dancer” this song did and will definitely help me as music is a great coping help for me as is just listening to nature and talking to those gone as I believe in the earlier biblical post. To my best pal. Jerry Garcia ” Sitting Here in Limbo”

  45. Great post as always. I look forward to the full playlist of songs about loss of a friend

  46. Thanks Litsa and Eleanor for this post…one of my very best friends died suddenly in September and now another incredible friend and confidante is dying from cancer. Thanks for acknowledging we can often be closer to our friends (“family of choice”) than our bio-family…keep up the amazing WYG work:)

  47. My best friend passed away to……. 6 awful months ago……. However she is also my daughter……my life…..?

  48. The best part of a best friend is that someone in this great big world actually tries to understand you.

  49. Lin…my heart goes out to you. I suggest you 2 read and working one of the cancer cures in the book: Cancer Free: Your Guide to Gentle, Non Toxic Healing (4th edition) by Bill Henderson, Carlos M Garcia, MD

  50. My Best Friend is is end stage lung cancer and it is ripping my heart out of my body! We are closer than spouses! we know each other inside out. I gave him my heart to protect and he gave is to me. I can not image another life without him. I don’t want another life. Just buy a double wide coffin and send me to heaven too. but no I am doomed to go in living …… I don’t want to get better. i don’t want other friends, I don’t want to go on with out him. I don’t want the pain to go away. I don’t want to recreate the life I have had for 25 years. It is the best life I could have imagined. Without him Nothing is worth doing, noting has meaning and I don’t care about anything. I want him to get well and he can’t. I don’t really want to go on living without hi,. i don’t want the best part of me to leave….. Losing my Best Friend is losing myself. he will take the best part of me with him.

  51. When I lost my best friend 8 years ago the thoughts that I travel quite a bit helped me release my grief altogether. Fortunately it came me that she’s on a long vacation and I will meet up with her once I get to heaven. I still miss her now & then but I don’t have the extended pain I might have had if I hadn’t thought of this idea.

    • Great idea. I am struggling with the loss of my best friend of 35 years. She died on September 6 and the waves of grief are real. Right now is pretty tough. Thank you for sharing!

  52. I have lost my Dad at 19, my first child at 29, my spouse at 53, and other close family in between. My bestie has been there since the loss of my first child and more recently my spouse. I can’t imagine losing her. I even had another BFF and it is a different relationship than my bestie. To those who have lost theirs (and I would include myself as my spouse was absolutely my BFF ever) hold on, you will find your new BFF! I’m including links to a a few of BFF songs that help!

    Forever Friends by Sandi Patti

    Friends by Michael W Smith

    You’ve Got A Friend by James Taylor

    That’s What Friends Are For by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder

    All are good for grieving and remembering. However the first two seem to have the added element of loss while the last two are about friendship which takes me to remembering those friend.

  53. Thanks, Marty, for the link to Victoria’s blog. It was I who wrote Litsa. I just grew so weary of finding articles about what to do when your dog died while searching for online resources. Felt like it was just adding insult to injury.

    • I totally get what you’re going through, well sort of, as you’ve probably figured out each friendship is unique and so is the loss of it, however I know what it’s like to lose your best friend. Mine died when we were kids but it felt like we’d been friends forever because we went through a lot of the same stuff and I’d known him since before either of us could remember. My advice to you is to let yourself grieve, let yourself miss her. Don’t try to control the process and try not to let anyone else control it for you, I’ve learned that hard way that, that generally only leads to more pain

    • My best friend died 4 weeks ago from drug abuse. We didn’t have family around us and became a support to each other. I watched helplessly as she spiralled trying to control her life but getting addicted to anything she could get her hands on. Whenever he went out I would worry, deep down I knew she faced many dangers. It wasn’t easy being friends with a addict she stole, lied cried out constantly for attention, I could never walk away from her she was my sister, we knew how each of us ticked I don’t think there will ever be anyone like her again, I miss her so much, I feel like my depression has come back 10 times harder, she used to drag it out of me. I can’t cope without her I want to die

  54. Great article. Often when you lose a spouse you have also list your best friend and soul mate. Sort of like a triple hit. This really hit me hard especially being an empty nester on top if it.

    • ey best friend who had been at my house due to illness for the past 3 months went home about 2 weeks ago. I have been teaching Bible studies for more than 50 yrs. She was an anointed Bible teacher & singer. We have been best friends for more than 50 yrs. Both 71 now. She helped me thru the loss of family members & ups & downs of life. I have to praise God for the time we had together. Most folks don’t know that kind of heart to heart friendship. Her family has been more than gracious. I had her name on my house & belongings since I have no close family left & she left hers to me. I feel part of my heart has been ripped out plus eventually having to deal with stuff left behind. I can feel the prayers of Gods people. I know I am walking in a prepared pasture. When He puts forth his sheep He goes before them to prepare the way. I am weak right now & grieving but I know He will bring me through. I have known grief before but not deep grief l Iike this that almost paralyzes. Thanks be unto God who gives us the victory thru Jesus Christ our Lord. At the bottom is solid rock. He withholds no good thing to them that walk uprightly. Delight yourself in the Lord & He will give u the desires of your heart. Delight means to be pliable. Lord I submit to u & give u the pieces of my broken heart today. Pro. 31

    • Your spouse isnt your best friend. and even if she is this article is about only best friends not best friend/spouse. Stop trying to lump them together theres already enough articicles on how to deal with your spouse dying. please leave this article as a best friend article exclusively stop trying to hijack it as a spouse article

      • Wow. I know this is an older post but.. Wow, Mary. What a disgusting lack of empathy on your part. This is a place to talk about grief and the coping process. Who are you to say whether or not someone’s spouse is their best friend? Get over yourself, witch.

        • Profile photo of Litsa Williams

          Brendon, thanks for your comment and understanding that how we define relationships is unique to each person. Someone can certainly fill multiple roles, a spouse or parent or sibling might also be a best friend. I am sorry we missed the comment you replied to when it was first posted, or I would have shared that sentiment then. Grief is a crazy emotional place and it can make the best of us frustrated about things, especially perceived lack of support for a specific type of loss. That doesn’t make it okay to make assumptions about the nature of other people’s relationships, or the goal of a specific article. As you say well, this is a place to talk about grief and coping and to (hopefully) all do it with respect. For us that means not criticizing others for how they read or find support in any article, and also not calling anyone names!

  55. Thanks, Marty!

  56. Victoria Noe is an author whose writing is focused on the loss of a friend. She blogs at victorianoe.com and has written an entire series of small books about Friend Grief.

  57. I want to thank you for this. My best friend died when I was 10 and I only started figuring out how to deal with that loss 8 years later. It’s still a struggle and I’ve also noticed a lack of resources. Luckily I was able to find a good support group but you’d think there’d be more info online.

    • I would like to thank you for this article. It has really helped me. I lost my close friend last month. She had brain tumours which moved throughout her body and in her blood. I am 13 and I have been her friend since early primary school years.
      If anyone knows any other support websites please let me know it would really help me. Thank you

      • My pain is greater than yours. I lost my best friend of thirty years to metastatic lung cancer two summers ago and I m still grieving. At hospice I sat with him, wiped him, fed him, cleaned him, prayed with him, begged God to heal him, etc. When he breathed his last a part of me died. There isn t a day I am pain-free from grief. I lost my interest in everything.

        • Profile photo of Litsa Williams

          Dale, replying to a 13 year old girl and saying your grief is greater than hers is not only unbelievably hurtful, but is also something that you have no way of knowing. There is very little we don’t support people expressing here on our site, but comparing grief in hurtful and minimizing ways is something we have no tolerance for. Each persons’ grief is as unique as they are and as unique as their relationship was with the person who died. I have no doubt about the devastation of your loss, and I am so sorry for the incredible pain you are enduring every day. But that does not give you the right to minimize the pain of others, or assume you have insight into the nature of their loss. I truly hope you find some support here on our site or, if not here, on another online forum or with a counselor. But please know that we have no patience or tolerance here for hurting others while seeking your own healing. This is not a competition, it is a community.

        • Hi Dale – Im sure you meant no harm with the comment about your grief being more than others – you are drowning and when we are drowning we cannot see anything but the liquid we are drowning in. What a truly horrible time you had watching your friend leave you. SO you are suffering not only grief but trauma. Lean on any support you can and speak to a professional who can give you new strategies so you can gain your power back – gain your life back. Take care.

          • This is true…Everybody grieves in their own way and everybody’s grief is their and can’t compare with others…

    • One of the clearest teachings of God’s Word is that dead loved ones will return to life. Bible accounts of past resurrections guarantee that “all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus’] voice and come out.” (John 5:28, 29)

      People alive at that time will find happiness as they meet those freed from death’s grip. On the other hand, we cannot even conceive of the happiness that the resurrected ones will feel.

      As the dead come forth, the earth will be filled with joy as never before. Billions of once dead humans will again take their place among the living. (Mark 5:39-42; Rev. 20:13) Meditating on this future miracle should comfort all who have lost dear ones in death.

      • Profile photo of Litsa Williams

        Though I think many do find comfort in the thought of seeing their loved ones again, the pain of grief is very much about finding ways to cope with their absence. Spirituality can be a comfort, as you describe, but often doesn’t minimizing the deep yearning to have the person you love with you now, in this life.

    • I lost my best friend, Renee, of 34 years 10 years ago. She was just 44 when she past. She left a huge empty place in my heart. My other best friend, who was also Renee’s Aunt ( we were close in age and had our sons all within the same year), helped me through it. 7 years later, to the month, Michele, 50, got sick and died. We spent Thankgiving and Christmas together. My sons called them Aunts and their children called me Aunt. It’s been 3 years since Michele died and I still feel very lost. I realize I was very blessed to have them but I don’t like thinking of growing old without them. We knew each other’s secrets. We always loved spending time together. I’ve not laughed or enjoyed life as much as I did with them.

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