As we are all painfully aware, death is an inevitable part of all life that can happen at any time. Whether it happens unexpectedly or not, nothing can prepare you for the grief that comes with losing a loved one. Friends are the family we choose. As such, losing a close friend can be just as devastating as the loss of a family member. We have put together some tips to help you cope with the loss of a close friend.
Take Part in Rituals
Attending the funeral, wake, or any other memorial services may help you to process what has happened. These traditions honour the person you have lost and give you the chance to reflect on their life, share your memories of them, and to say goodbye. Being among others that also knew and loved your close friend and are also experiencing grief can be comforting.
Surround Yourself with Others
You need to surround yourself with people who will support you and who you can rely on to pick you up when you are feeling particularly low. It is important to have a circle of support to help you get through this distressing time.
Accept What Has Happened
An important part of the healing process is to accept what has happened and that there is no answer to the question “why?”. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that bad things happen in life to good people, oftentimes inexplicably. Though it is hard to come to terms with, there is nothing that can be done to change what has happened.
Recall and Preserve Your Memories
Instead of focusing on their death, you should try to focus on the happy memories you have of your friend, how they helped to shape you into the person that you are and the positive effect that they had on your life.
Some great ways of treasuring your memories of them is to share them with others, create a scrapbook, or to organise gatherings in their honour to remember them and celebrate their life. You could even create a tribute to them by planting a tree or having a plaque made and put on a bench in one of their favourite spots.
Express Your Emotions
One of the most effective steps in the grieving process is to express your emotions, whatever they are. If you want to cry or scream or shout, you should go ahead and let it all out. Do not suppress your feelings, make sure you embrace them. It may be painful at first, but over time you will feel better for it.
Allow Yourself Time to Grieve
There is no denying that life without your friend will never be the same and that you will miss them. The grieving process is not the same for any two people; it is unique to you. You won’t grieve in the same way and it may take you more or less time to grieve than others. That is okay. It is important that you remember to be kind to yourself. Allow yourself time to grieve in your own way.
Seek Professional Help
If you are struggling to cope with the loss of a close friend, and feel that you may need additional support, you should seek help. There are many ways you can receive bereavement support: online, over the phone, face-to-face, or in support groups.
Cruse Bereavement Care offers counselling and support to anyone affected by loss. To speak to one of their trained bereavement volunteers, call 0808 808 1677 or message them via the live chat tool on their website.
Craven Funeral Directors has a long heritage, dating back to the 1920s, and remains a family-run business to this day. If you need help or advice on preparing for end of life, or if you are interested in taking out a pre-paid funeral plan, please give us a call on 0151 228 3900.