Losing a best friend is one of the most profoundly difficult chapters in a person’s life, which comes with its unique sets of personal challenges. Recovering and healing from this loss requires that bereaved friends acknowledge the need for mental and emotional support.

Philosophers, writers, and poets have mused about the beauty that is innate in friendship when two people fraternize in a bond that is at once as powerful yet distinct from that of lovers and family members. A best friend can mean the world to a person, through thick and thin, good and bad, and in times of troubles. Sworn siblings, platonic partners, best friends forever—all words that describe the depths that friendships can have between two people.

Sadly, even lifelong friends must come to terms with someday outliving one another. Personal tragedies can come as a shocking swerve for many, whether it came in an accident or in poor health.

The loss of a lifelong friend remains one of the most profoundly painful moments in one’s life, matching the emotional gravity and pain felt when losing a cherished family member or loved one. Best friends, especially, may feel like a part of them has been ripped out.

A Question of Kin

Protocol often puts a heavy priority on the next of kin, even if the decedent was as close—to their friends as they were to the family. In Roy and other parts of Utah, it is usually family that handles most of the funerary arrangements such as the service. Friends must respect familial boundaries, but be open to supporting family members that they happen to be amicable with.

Meanwhile, those who have befriended their deceased friend’s families, however, may be in a unique position among other friends to memorialized the decedent in a way that they could be satisfied. Coordinating with family members can help good friends of the decedent—especially those within an immediate social circle—celebrate the life and memory of their lost companion their own way.

The Challenges of Grieving

The pain of losing a dear friend is often as seemingly unbearable as losing a lover or family member. However, it is not uncommon to feel a sense of isolation. Society does not always see friendships to be as enduring or meaningful as romantic or familial relationships. This often leads to friends feeling alone when grieving, since they may feel that no one is giving them adequate support or feel like their own pain is belittled.

The loss of a best friend may also interrupt and change the relationship dynamics between circles of friends. The disappearance of a key member may require the void to be filled by people who had never stepped into the role. The period of adjustment would be difficult and may cause strain in the relationships.

A deceased close friend may also have been a key figure of support. Suddenly, bereaved friends may find that the very person they used to lean on is now the person they’re grieving for, which can feel like a tremendous burden.

Time to Heal

Ultimately, people must give themselves the same time to heal from the loss of a dear friend much like they would with losing a family. They can choose to reach out to support groups if they feel alone or if the grief they feel is overwhelming and they feel like they’ve nowhere else to go. They should also ensure that they take better care of themselves to maintain their mental stability throughout the process of healing.

Meta Title: Mourning the Passing of a Best Friend: Addressing the Challenges

Meta Description: Coping with the death of a best friend presents several unique challenges for the bereaved, but one that they shouldn’t have to bear alone.