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

107 Answers
Last Updated: 12/01/2021 at 4:08am
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
July 10th, 2016 11:49pm
When you realize they've actually left. When you start think about what they could've been in life.
August 7th, 2016 3:12am
you'll honestly just know you'll miss them lots cry maybe grieving is hard almost like a job with no perks but you'll just know
August 26th, 2016 4:08am
I think it starts as early as you're ready. I'm going through this currently, and I think while some hurt right away, others may be numb at first.
September 12th, 2016 10:16am
Having experienced loss myself, I would say it starts right away, though the experience of a "process" of grief isn't necessarily textbook. These feelings will change and evolve over time, though you may not be outwardly reacting now, it may happen (or not) in the future and you could still find yourself reacting strongly even years down the line.
September 12th, 2016 9:22pm
You would know when grieving starts when you feel lonely, depression, and you might sometime later in life get a fear of death.
October 8th, 2016 1:16am
Grieving usually starts right away. There are five stages, but I'm not sure what they are. But it's definitely hard
October 20th, 2016 1:28am
It really just depends on the person. Sometimes, people don't really process the death until years later when it hits them like a brick. It's different for everyone and no one is wrong or right.
October 22nd, 2016 1:56pm
Grieving starts at anytime no one really knows. There is no scientific research on when people start grieving.
October 23rd, 2016 10:52am
Losing you best friend can be very difficult, especially when you have known them for a long time, or know them highly well. Grieving will probably start shortly after. Grieving is a natural process of letting them go.
November 5th, 2016 3:23am
Grief is something that is different for everyone. It comes and go. There's no right or wrong way to grieve.
November 10th, 2016 5:39pm
Grief can take awhile to set in. Sometimes it may feel instant when you hear the news. Othertimes it might come in a wave of realization after seeing something that reminds you of your friend. Othertimes it's not until you connect the dots of the little signs that were there for some time. Regardless, it's a difficult time to get through when it happens, but you will get through it.
November 16th, 2016 11:06am
The grieving process starts the very second you have lost them. You may claim to not accept this.. But deep down you know. Your subconsious knows. Denial is very much part of the deal. But we cant start healing until we get over this. Accept.
November 20th, 2016 11:03pm
The minute you lose them. If you don't know if you're grieving yet, you are probably still in the shock stage. Not being able to believe they are gone, or just not really feeling anything. Maybe you don't feel any different. You're grieving though.
December 10th, 2016 12:06pm
Grieving is different for everyone it doesn't necessarily start at the time of passing. Grieving is a process which takes time especially after losing your best friend. I lost my best friend and the grieving wasn't a flood of tears which most people expect but just numbness. Not everyone's grieving is the same.
March 8th, 2017 2:35am
For some, grieving may be instant. For others, they may express shock over the loss and won't start grieving until a few days or even a week after. It all depends on the person and their level of grief.
April 9th, 2017 1:51pm
Grieving is complicated. Sometimes grief hits right away, and sometimes, it comes like an aftershock, with significant delay. It could take weeks or months for you to feel the grief. Today we know that the "stages of grieving" aren't really a thing. You might feel nothing for a while and then - all of a sudden - feel everything at once. But that's normal. It's a part of being human. Just hold on.
April 14th, 2017 10:42am
Grief is a process beginning right after a loss - so even the shock or denial you may feel immediately after a loss is part of the grieving process. Feelings of grief come in waves of intensity, so it is completely normal to feel ok some days and then badly other days.
May 21st, 2017 1:55pm
It's common to feel a sense of numbness or vague pain after the death of someone close. You may also feel a sense of guilt and anger or even a deep depression. The grieving process is different for everyone - the important thing is that you try and work through it, stay close to those who love you and stay strong.
June 9th, 2017 12:21am
grief is a small word to describe what one feels when he lost someone close to heart.....grieving start from the moment you realize you will not be able to talk to each other ever...that moment is most painful one.....
June 30th, 2017 6:21pm
I have lost both my best friend and my brother, who was my friend as well. In my experience, grieving them started a bit after I lost them. At first, the initial emotions were shock and intense sadness, but not a sense of long, burning grievance. After truly accepting what had happened, I began to grieve them. I would think of them, or something would remind me of them, and I would feel that sense of longing and pain that I began to attach with their names. I guess how I knew I started grieving them was that I accepted the fact that I had lost them, and started to feel the pain of not having them.
July 6th, 2017 8:06pm
Everything just feels empty.It is not like you lost a half of yourself,it is like losing your true self.Sun doesn't shine as bright as usual and it feels like it doesn't even exist.Everything slows down and you can feel the physical pain,like your heart is being ripped out.
August 12th, 2017 11:59pm
I was 9 when I lost my best friend Carter he was my world, he died of leukemia at 11. I new my grieving started when I would think about him and tell myself I'll see him tomorrow or the next day or whenever. But as i grew up i realized that everyday I missed him, I was living for him, so i accepted the fact that I lost the one person that would wear a dress and complain a little.
September 7th, 2017 4:05pm
It depends entirely to the depth of yer emotion, and based on how much ye valued him or her throughout the entire ship. Personally speaking, the moment I lost mine was the very first second I grieve and it went for a solid time, every second of my life until this very minute.
September 14th, 2017 2:01pm
There's almost always shock after the loss of a person who you care for. Shock can last from a few minutes to days, or even weeks. Grief sets in after the shock wears off. There's different stages of grief but they often blur together. Once you get past the initial realization, you may be angry at the world or yourself, sad that they are gone, or a multitude of other emotions. You can tell that grief has started once you start feeling more emotions in a more vivid way than you have before. Grief can invoke all kinds of responses and emotions and it will definitly be slightly unique to you, but its ok and while you will have a unique situation there are others who are going through or have gone through the same thing. These people and your friends and family will help to support you and give you a shoulder to cry on. You should never feel alone when you have them. Life will continue. You will survive.
September 15th, 2017 6:07pm
Immediately I think. Losing a source of support is hardest part in life. Never lose hope, and if you miss them too much, communication is the key.
September 20th, 2017 3:20pm
My best friend died a few years ago after a long illness. I would say the grieving started before that, when they finally said they couldn't do anything more for her and put her on hospice. She wasn't able to get out and do anything, all I could do is visit. Toward the end, she couldn't even talk much and they put her into a drug induced coma. When she finally passed away, there was a hole in my life. The support, the joy, the love of that person was no longer there. When you feel the hole, that is when you know.
November 12th, 2017 8:25pm
It will start immediately. It just feels numb first, which is still a form of grief because your body literally doesn't want you to feel it's pain, but then your body will begin to fully realize what has happened and start to take you through the stages of grief.
November 15th, 2017 3:16am
I grieved right away and still haven't stopped don't think you ever stop grieving. I mean grief hits people differently.
November 19th, 2017 12:02pm
Normally grieving is immediate but some people have a hard time accepting. Grieving will start when acceptance does too.
January 31st, 2018 7:45pm
There are several stages of grief and you dont have to feel them all, some people skip some stages while some may revisit stages several times as they cope with loss. Denial: When you first learn of a loss, it’s normal to think, “This isn’t happening.” You may feel shocked or numb. This is a temporary way to deal with the rush of overwhelming emotion. Anger: As reality sets in, you’re faced with the pain of your loss. You may feel frustrated and helpless. These feelings later turn into anger. You might direct it toward other people, a higher power, or life in general. Bargaining: During this stage, you dwell on what you could’ve done to prevent the loss. Common thoughts are “If only…” and “What if…” Depression: Sadness sets in as you begin to understand the loss and its effect on your life. Signs of depression include crying, sleep issues, and a decreased appetite. You may feel overwhelmed, regretful, and lonely. Acceptance: This is the final stage in the grief process. This is when you accept the reality of your loss. It can’t be changed. Although you may still feel sad, you’re able to start moving forward with your life.