The 4 Phases of Losing a Friend

Losing someone is never easy. The pain of loss can get so overwhelming that you might feel like you don’t know yourself anymore. But it’s not who you are that has changed. It’s who matters to you that has changed. We always want to be surrounded by the people we love but when someone we love leaves us, it’s easy to forget that our lives are not lonely, just different.  Here are a few phases that anyone who has lost a friend will probably experience. 

1.    GRIEF 

Whenever we lose anything, we often feel a massive sense of dread. Whether it be something as complicated as losing a job or something as simple as losing a pair of headphones, a loss is never easy to deal with. But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get over. You are stronger than you realize and sometimes the best manner to cope with loss is to let grief take its due course. It sounds cliché but the saying “time heals all scars” definitely applies. 

2.    DENIAL

For a while, you want to rationalize things. You might convince yourself that this break is temporary and that your friend will come back to you and everything will be back to normal. It’s especially difficult not to be in denial when you have a ton of mutual friends and have to constantly hear about the person who’s no longer in your life. However, you have to realize that things will never be the same no matter how much you want them to be. So, stop living in false hope and start embracing change. 

3.    ANGER

Rejection isn’t fun to handle. It requires a great amount of patience to get over the word "no" and it's natural to feel angry about it. Rejection triggers a lot of negativity in your head and can make you mad... like really mad. Unfortunately, anger isn’t the prettiest of emotions and can channel a lot of resentment. In turn, resentment can channel a lot of spite. How dare someone throw your friendship away? But remember rejection is just a part of life. Being rejected is not a reflection of you or even a reflection of the other person. It’s a reflection of time. Situations can change over periods of time and the sooner you realize that some things are out of your control, the easier it is to let go of that built up anger.

4.    ACCEPTANCE

Ah, the final phase (frankly, the best one). The thought of you and your friend not being close again might still hurt but that doesn’t mean you can’t move on with your life. You can still cherish the memories that you two had together while focusing on the new memories you will make without them. Even though it might feel like the end of the world right now, it will slowly start to hurt less as you start to accept that you have to keep living your life. Fill in the void of losing a friend with parts of yourself that you didn’t know existed. Be a friend to yourself and then someday, acceptance will follow.

Images: 12345