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Losing Your Best Friend

We all have that best friend that you know you can call no matter what. You probably don’t talk to them every day, but will randomly get a funny picture or text. These are the friends that have known you through it all, and even though you’re not in the same state or school, you maintain a strong connection. You can always turn to them because they’ve been there for everything. You don’t feel the need to tell them how important they are because they obviously already know it.

But what happens when you wake up one day and they’re gone? When you lose a friend like this, your life changes. You may not know it while it’s happening, but having a best friend die will change you in ways you don’t understand.

I lost my best friend when he was 20, and I was 19. I met him when I was 14, and we’d been inseparable since then. Sure, we went to schools halfway across the country from each other, but we kept a very close friendship through postcards, texts and phone calls. If I had a problem, I turned to him. When he had a success, we celebrated together. We had each other’s backs through the struggles of adolescence and the transitions into college.

I was devastated when I lost him. I honestly did not know what to do at all. I got the call that he didn’t make it out of an accident, and I shut down completely. I didn’t leave my dorm room until I was forced to. I didn’t eat or sleep for weeks. The only thing that didn’t suffer was my grades. I threw myself into my work so that I wouldn’t have to think about other things. I pushed friends away and isolated myself. I was a wreck, and the only person who I wanted to talk to was him.

Luckily, I had good friends here who stayed by my side. They let me talk, or not talk, when I needed to. They made sure I ate food and took care of little things to make my life easier. They were my rock. I slowly came back into the world, but I thought about him every day. The grief came in waves, and I didn’t know how to deal with it honestly. Nobody ever taught me how to deal with losing a friend so young. Sure, I’ve lost family members, but those were expected to a point. Nobody is supposed to die at twenty. You never imagine you’re going to get a call saying your best friend died before he even reached twenty-one.

I still think about him every day. Losing him made me realize how fleeting life can actually be. It taught me to say what I felt and not wait. I was destroyed by losing him, but strangely, it’s made me a stronger and better person. I would obviously pick to have him alive over everything else, but we don’t get to choose in life. All I can do now is continue to live my life to the fullest. He didn’t get to grow old, but honestly, he had a good life while he was alive. During our friendship he showed me how to be truly alive which is something not everyone understands. I would give anything to talk to him just one more time, but all I can do is honor his memory.

Losing your best friend is painful. It sucks. It takes time to heal from, and you’ll always feel a little broken from it. I’m not here to give advice on how to handle it. I personally got a tattoo to honor him which makes me happy every time I see it. Maybe for you it’s something else. Either way, losing your best friend at such a young age changes you. It makes you realize some harsh realities in life, but don’t let it break you. Let it help you grow and become a stronger person.

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