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Why Losing Your Best Friend Can Feel Like Losing a Family Member

The deep emotional void of losing a best friend can trigger a grief experience

Losing Your Best Friend

In the tapestry of human relationships, best friends hold a unique and irreplaceable position. They are the confidantes, the companions, and the pillars of support that often play an even more significant role in our lives than some relatives.

Yet, society tends to downplay the profound impact of losing a best friend, overshadowing it with the more recognised grief of losing a relative. The deep emotional void that losing a best friend can create deserves to be acknowledged within society.

The Unique Bond of a Best Friend

Best friendships transcend conventional definitions of relationships. Friends are the chosen family who stand by us through life's highs and lows. They are the ones we laugh with, confide in, and lean on during our darkest moments.

Unlike relatives, who are connected by blood, friends are united by shared experiences, mutual understanding, and genuine affection. Often, the bond with a best friend can surpass even the closest of familial ties.

Navigating the Loss

Losing a best friend can feel like losing a part of yourself. The grief is real, profound, and can have a lasting impact. Society, however, may not fully comprehend the depth of this loss, often relegating it to a secondary status compared to the death of a relative.

As a result, those grieving the loss of a best friend may find themselves isolated, their grief invalidated, and their pain overlooked.

The Importance of Acknowledgment

It's crucial for society to recognise the value of best friends and the impact of losing a best friend. Grief doesn't discriminate based on the nature of the relationship. Just as people mourn the loss of relatives, they also deserve the space and support to mourn the loss of a best friend. By acknowledging the significance of this type of loss, we can create a more compassionate and understanding environment for those who are grieving.

Connecting with Others Who Understand

Support networks are essential during times of grief. While many support groups exist for those mourning the loss of a relative, finding similar spaces for those who've lost best friends can be challenging.

Creating or seeking out these spaces can provide solace and understanding that might not be found elsewhere. Sharing experiences, memories, and feelings with others who have undergone similar losses can validate the grief and offer a sense of belonging.

Building Bridges: Establishing Friend Loss Support Groups

Recognising the need for dedicated spaces, individuals who have experienced the loss of a best friend can consider establishing their own support groups. By connecting with local communities, online platforms, or social media, individuals can foster spaces where others can share their stories, emotions, and coping strategies. Establishing such groups can help reduce the isolation that often accompanies this type of grief.

Seeking Professional Support

While connecting with peers who understand the pain of losing a best friend is vital, professional support should not be underestimated. Grief, regardless of its source, can be complex and overwhelming.

Grief specialists can provide tools to navigate through the grieving process, offering coping strategies and guidance to heal while continuing your relationship with your friend, even though they have gone.

By giving a voice to this unspoken grief, we can work toward a more empathetic and understanding society for all types of losses.

About Maria

Maria Bailey

Maria Bailey is an Edu-Therapist and founder of Grief Specialists. Her work as an Edu-Therapist helps people resolve their emotional pain through an education and action-based programme over a short number of sessions to lead to sustainable mental wellness. You can find out more about Maria here.


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