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After you lose your best friend, how do you know when grieving them starts?

109 Answers
Last Updated: 01/20/2022 at 6:27am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Grief
July 31st, 2016 10:01am
You know it when you suddenly start crying and dont know how to stop. Your face remains neutral but tears are flowing all over it. You start to remember the little moments you had with them. You just want to yell so hard but sometimes you cant. This is when you know the real experience of a word called grief.
December 9th, 2017 2:40am
When you feel a pit in your stomach. When it feels like a piece of your heart is missing. When you want to talk to them, but know you can't. When you catch yourself consistently thinking of them. Losing a friend is never ever easy. It doesn't matter the circumstance, whether it be by choice or by accident, everyone eventually loses a friend. The best thing you can do is allow yourself to grief. There's nothing shameful in being upset over the loss of someone important to you. Cry, scream, talk to others who are close to you, and obsessively talk about them until you can't anymore. Accepting these feelings is the first step to recovery.
July 18th, 2016 2:48am
After losing someone so close to you, I really think the grieving process starts immediately even if you may not really be feeling any emotions at all. Everyone grieves differently and once you do start feeling emotion whether its anger, sadness etc, it might even come and go but eventually become easier. Its important to really feel the emotions when they come and to make sure you take care of yourself.
August 1st, 2018 11:29am
It starts of feeling almost as if you have a hole in your chest. Sometimes it hurts sometimes it doesn't. Life would start feeling grey and everything you did enjoy would become too painful; to do anymore.
December 10th, 2016 8:16am
It can be healthy to be aware of the grieving process, but don't obsess over when it starts and when it ends. Grief takes its own time depending on who you are and what you lost. You may feel depressed, angry, anxious, annoyed, or all of the above. Give yourself permission to have those feelings and do good things for yourself. You've been injured. You deserve a fair chance to recover. Focus on being good to yourself and those around you instead of the time it takes to grieve.
December 10th, 2017 4:37pm
Everyone is different, though I believe the entire process begins immediately. Everyone reacts differently to different situations. It is common to feel anger, sadness, and emptiness. We can even feel numb, due to the initial shock of situations like this. These different emotions are heavy at times, but they do ease off. They can come and go, but in the end, it eventually does get easier.
October 26th, 2018 9:09pm
usually the first step of grieving is thinking that they didn't and that they're going to come back once you realize there not going to you might start to blame it on yourself that it was your fault when it wasn't after that you start to realize that you cant do anything about it but you just need to talk to someone and cope with the feeling because it can be really hard sometimes grieving will usually include crying temporary depression and wanting to stay away from things people or places that remind you of them. Another thing to realize is that it wasn't your fault! :)
August 11th, 2018 12:02pm
Everyone grieves in there own way. Some people don’t grieve until years later. Some grieve straight away.
July 23rd, 2016 12:54pm
Grieving is different for each person and depending on who the person is who has passed away, how they have and the relationship they had with you, can all affect the grieving process. There is no right or wrong way and there is no right or wrong way to feel. Acceptance that the person is no longer here is perhaps one of the very first things that those left behind have to go through and this is no always as easy as other people may expect. Some people upon hearing that someone has died, feel nothing, others feel anger, others feel numb. you will know if you listen to what you feel and to what your heart tells you
August 1st, 2016 3:31am
If you lost a good friend, I'm sure there are many emotions you are going through. You may feel angry, upset, lonely, or many other feelings. It may take time to actually realized what has happened to your close friend, or you may be impacted by their loss right away.
August 4th, 2016 10:06am
When you have a feeling of sadness and emptiness. Which is completely normally it's the start of the grieving process
August 12th, 2016 7:12pm
I lost my best friend to suicide a while a go. I knew the grieving started the minute i did something and the only person i wanted to tell about it was her
August 27th, 2016 3:17am
I believe that grieving starts as soon as you loss a friend, especially a best friend. The numbness and/or soul shaking that you first feel is part of grieving.
June 30th, 2018 3:44am
It is a personal experience for each individual. You may notice deep sadness when you really notice the person is absent from your life, whether in daily activities you did together, when all the visitors have left following the death and you are on your own to face the reality. You may start to feel overwhelmed, guilty, a feeling of emptiness, sadness, anger and may lose your appetite, be unable to sleep or perhaps find it difficult to get out of bed or continue with regular activities
November 23rd, 2018 3:44pm
Grieving is a difficult process that can be experienced in many ways. Some people have different ways dealing with loss than others, and that is completely normal. Grieving usually starts when you get it on your head that that someone is really gone and not coming back. Usually, people stay in denial for a little while when they learn that someone very close and dear to them is gone, and that is completely normal, because it's a lot to take in and a lot of emotions to process. I hope you can feel better soon and am sending all the support you can take!
August 4th, 2016 4:28pm
You'll know by how you personally feel, there is no set time or duration and it is a completely personal process, it may be hard but the grieving will stop and the good memories are who they were, not the sadness you feel now
September 9th, 2016 12:30pm
Sometimes your grieving can come on all of a sudden sometimes longer due to shock , when your unable to keep your emotions at bay , when you are not doing the things that you used to love , day to day normal tasks , it is a natural way of bereaving some just take longer than others .
September 6th, 2017 2:02am
Grieving starts the moment that you hear of the loss. It will look different for everyone; so some people cry, others might scream, but if none of that happens that's okay too. Sometimes it can take a while for the feels to come - like it's not real almost. Remember: whatever you are feeling is okay. Even if you are laughing and having a good time, that's okay. There isn't any right or wrong when it comes to grief. Hope you are okay and feel free to PM a listener if you want to talk.
October 27th, 2018 5:58pm
A phase where it feels like something is missing in everything. When you're happy and you reach out to your phone with excitement to call that one person but suddenly remember they don't exist anymore. When things you did together is all a memory and it will never be the same again. Times when you wanna yell and cry out their name as loud as you can, but they wouldn't be there to listen. To feel that a part of your life is gone and it's never coming back. When everything you do is to try and honour their memory so that one day, sitting out there in heaven, a smile shall pour over what you've become.
August 30th, 2019 7:12pm
In my experience it has always started right away. If you mean by death, then I again state usually right away or within a short amount of time. If by a fight, then the grieving may take until you are able to calm down from the argument and be in the right mind space to process what happened, and usually it will be in the days that follow that you will start to miss them as you realize you aren't hearing from them through calls, texts, visits, or whatever you two normally did together. It's when you find yourself wishing it hadn't ended.
July 17th, 2016 12:43pm
It's an extremely complicated situation but you will eventually grieve - it might take some time, but once their absence and the realization of their passing sinks in, you'll slowly reflect on all of the tiny things that you shared together.
- Expert in Grief
July 17th, 2016 8:59pm
Everyone grieves differently. Not everyone goes through all the stages. You will know when you have begun to grieve them.
September 9th, 2016 10:24am
The grieving process is different from everyone. You will feel sad, angry, frustrated, loss, acceptance, and more. Accepting is on your way to healing.
September 25th, 2016 10:32am
From my personal experience I'd probably say immediately if they really meant a lot to you. However if your friendship did fall apart then it just wasn't meant to be.
November 20th, 2016 4:24pm
Well, grief is not a switch which turns 'on'. I believe grieving starts the moment you first realize what you've lost. For me, it starts off with little things like not having anyone to call or sharing my favorite songs with. And it seems very trivial initially. And then over a matter of few days, it just grows on you till you break down. And then, you learn to build up again :)
May 21st, 2017 8:37pm
my answer here would be that grieving them starts from the minute you know that you are going to lose them. If we are talking about losing because a person dies then this can begin before that person is dead. If you know sometime in advance that their death will be coming then you are likely to begin the grieving process from the moment you know they are dying. It may be that there is no way of "knowing" how and when that grieving started until later on in your own journey.
March 7th, 2018 10:20pm
For me, it started immediately because I didn't have any close friends around me at that time. But it's different for everyone, as long as you have someone to talk to about how you feel, things will get better.
July 29th, 2018 10:24am
I like to take a look at the cycle of greif and try to decypher what I am feeling in it. And I remind myself it's ok to jump all over the cycle, things don't allways visably happen in any order or for a specific time period either.
December 26th, 2018 9:59am
The grieving starts at different times for everyone, you may be going about your day trying to put it out of your mind cause you cannot believe the reality of losing the one person you talked to about everything the most, it really starts when it settles in that this is infact the reality that they aren’t coming back anytime soon as much as it hurts and you may want them to, it will also include lots of crying and chocolate ice cream and having sweet memories of when you two where together through thick and thin for each other.
October 25th, 2019 10:23pm
Grieving starts when you move on to do something that you would do with your best friend and then you realize that you can't do it with them because you aren't in the same relationship anymore. It may make you feel empty, maybe you feel very upset. However, that initial moment just reminds you that you have lost something good that you used to have, whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. It marks the moment where one starts to feel many negative emotions. However, over time this process does start to feel easier, in between it may feel more difficult, healing is not linear. But, in the end, things do turn out better.