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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
February 17th, 2018 12:02am
Grieving, I believe, might start the moment you realize your friend is distancing from you. Or in the case of death, it starts with the news you get, and the shock and numbness that comes with it. Grief comes in many different forms and even stages. You can be angry or sad, cry or go numb, talk or withdraw. It's all a process. Do what you can to get closure, death or no. And move on in a way that feels okay to you. Don't push yourself to make new friends right away unless it's something you feel you need to do to get better.
February 21st, 2018 1:30am
There are 7 stages of grief. Weather the loss is through a passing, or a fall out, the stages are the same. Denial, anger, progression, acceptance, etc. They dont always come in that order. Alot of times, people will feel angry, or in denial first.
February 22nd, 2018 12:33am
Grieving a friends loss can often be delayed by the initial shock or denial that they have gone. Usually this only lasts a short while then you start to fully grieve the loss of your friend working through the rest of the stages of grief.
February 22nd, 2018 3:44am
Any death is tragic, be it a close loved one or even a stranger. It can be very tough to deal with the loss of a close friend or family member, however we all deal with these experiences in our own way. There is no right or wrong way to grieve as the nature of grieving is an entirely individual experience. Sometimes people find that they don't process the death straight away, and instead it comes to them in an inordinate length of time, and for others the emotions may strike quickly and tremendously. What is important is to accept that you are entitled to feel any way that you may feel and to give yourself the time and space needed to process what has happened.
February 23rd, 2018 9:07pm
It starts the second their gone. Grief can hit you at any moment and know whenever it does that it is okay to grieve. Don't allow anyone to tell you to get over it or when you should be expressive with your grief.
April 5th, 2018 3:41am
Personally, anger or blame come first for me. It's either questioning why I wasn't enough, or raging out over the smallest things.
April 11th, 2018 5:11pm
Grieving can start anytime from the time you lost someone. There's no specific time that tells how long it will takes. What's important is that you can work through that grief once it hits you.
April 27th, 2018 5:32pm
For my dog, it was when I would do things that reminded me of her. It goes the same with people. If you don't focus on it it won't hurt as bad but it is better to focus on and resolve those feelings as soon as possible.
April 27th, 2018 8:07pm
I believe it depends on the case. I've lost several best friends over the years. Some taking hours, others taking days or weeks. It's like you dont want to believe you are gone. And the second you realize that theyre actually gone, is when you can start recovering
May 9th, 2018 5:54pm
Grieving is a long process that doesn't follow specific rules. It depends on how deep your friendship was. Remember that regardless of depth, they loved you and want what's best for yourself. Talking to loved ones around you and/or a mental health professional will help you along the grieving process.
May 18th, 2018 2:20am
It starts the day they die, you don't feel it for days to come, in my culture we grieve for at least a year unless they are elderly, grieving can Last a life time
May 26th, 2018 8:08pm
Grief varies from person to person. It can start straight away or take some time to settle in. Sometimes it can cause emotions such as sadness, guilt or anger. You may also lose or gain your appetite or feel a sense of loneliness and have reoccurring thoughts of them.
June 21st, 2018 11:51am
The moments you realize how much they're a part of you, how they were there for you, those are the moments grief begins.
June 29th, 2018 4:20am
Well, grieving is a pretty hard thing, and it’s completely different for everyone. For me signs of grieving are getting extremly emotional whenever you see things that remind you of them, and overwhelming sadness.
December 23rd, 2018 9:45pm
Everybody grieves differently, the first stage happens right after you lose the person. For example when my grandmother passed away, the day it happened it was a shock. But the days afterwards it hit me hard and made me very upset. You usually get hit with feelings of "out of reality" or denial which is completely normal. In my personal case after about a week of constant tears denial had hit. Denial is usually the feeling of wanting to believe that the person who has passed, or is no longer here, is alive. Sometimes it may feel like the end but just understand that what you are going through is normal.
January 23rd, 2019 11:57am
Grieving is a major part of the healing process when someone experiences a loss in their life. If you are grieving you are starting to heal and build understanding as well as resilience to your experience. During the healing process, there will be many emotions such as sadness, emptiness, and loneliness that can cause a person to slip away from being regulated or even society its self. Everyone grieves differently as they enter the stages to grief. but mainly we all follow the 5 stages of grief - (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, depression, and acceptance. When the loss happens the first stage denial begins its process.
June 5th, 2019 1:14am
I think the grieving begins once you believe you will lose them. This can be before or after your friend is removed from your life in any way (moving, no longer talking, an argument, what have you). Once you begin to have feelings regarding the loss, whatever they may be, is when you begin to grieve. There are many ways to grieve, as well as many ways to deal with it. Some people like to write a letter to that person to feel closure, and you can mail it to them or simply read it and imagine you are reading it to them (it sounds lame but it is actually very cathartic for relationships that end negatively or when talking to them won't help). You can try to cope by distracting yourself, spending more time in school or work, or trying to meet new friends/ spend time with other friends.
September 20th, 2019 2:06pm
Grieving begins when sadness is manifested in your body as the emotion itself and a reaction. Usually, people tend to cry, even though that doesn't mean everyone expresses sadness in the same way. From personal experience, I sometimes cried and I sometimes I didn't cry, it usually depends on how impactful is that loss for you. It's also natural to have a feeling of emptiness, void or even silence, representing that loss in your life that leaves a certain amount of space for the new realities that are bound to come. If you understand that grieving is just dealing with a process of change, you don't have to worry about how that will turn out to be. You are unique and your reaction can be unique, so don't feel like there's a wrong or right way to mourn your own loss. You just have to be there for yourself no matter what happens.
December 18th, 2019 11:44pm
Immediately. There are 5 stages of grief- •Denial- Only lets in as much as we can handle, emotionally & mentally. You're in a state of shock; a state of disbelief and numb feelings. After the realization and acceptance of the denial of the loss, you begin to feel again, what you were denying. Pain. •Anger- A necessary, intense emotion which allows you to reconnect from the pain, emptiness and numbness. •Bargaining- Trying to exchange feelings of pain and thinking what you could or should have done differently Depression- Deep, empty feelings. You'll withdraw from normal, day to day life and isolate. It wouldn't be normal to not feel this after a great loss. Upward turn Acceptance- Reconstruction and working through. Learning to live a new reality without your loved one and learn to live with it.
January 9th, 2020 6:34pm
Grieving has five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Grieving starts when you try to deny the reality of the passing of the friend. Sometimes people would ask, "Is it a joke? This is not real." You may ending up arguing with yourself or other people. When someone tries to confront you with facts, you may progress into anger. Or you may stay in denial for a while.
February 7th, 2020 12:58pm
Grieving the loss of your best friend (or anyone else) starts when you lose them, regardless if you feel so in the moment loss occured (or you got information about loss of your best friend). In the first phase many of us deny that loss occured and so, people think that it isn't grief, but in fact, denial is first stage of grieving process and thus, denial (denying loss, denying emotional connectedness, denying anything related to the person you lost) itself is grief too as it is in many cases first phase of grieving process (but in fact there are also people who never go through denial phase but can experience other phases, not listed in manuals - but also it is grieving process, albeit not described in books or websites as typical).
February 7th, 2020 8:08pm
From personal experience, I didn't learn about a friend's death till the next day. It took a few days to process the fact that she was gone before I started grieving. For others, they began mourning her when she was put into hospice care. It's different for everyone, but it gets easier and you will be happy again. The first point that I notice the most is denial. You can't accept the fact that they are gone, and it's 100% okay. Another piece is guilt. Survivor's guilt is extremely effective on a person. I took weeks to get over my survivor's guilt, and I still experience it. It's natural. Keep their memory alive, honor them, live out their ambitions. Keep their personality alive. It gets easier with every day. Let them be your driving force to go after your dreams and goals in life. I know she's mine.
February 8th, 2020 4:19pm
For me, when losing somebody (can be break up or worse) I often just feel nothing for the first few days. It feels numb, you dont know what time it is and everything feels weird, as if you wouldnt feel anything at all, not good but also not bad. Then after 2 or 3 days, emotions hit me hard. The good and the bad ones! Both is just overly present, I cry a lot and am very confused. My heart and my mind are in constant fight, because I know whats going on but, why does it feel that way?
February 20th, 2020 5:55am
It is different for different people. So it is really hard to say. Some grieve when they get the news. Some do not grieve right away. Some are in shock,so they will grieve after the shock goes away. Some start to grieve at the wake. Some start to grieve at the Church Service for them. Some never grieve. Some grieve so much so,that it starts to affect those around them. It is all different. It depends on a number of factors. It also depends on how long you knew the person. It also depends on how close you were, for example, did they work together at the same place. I hope this helps,some. I am so very sorry for your lose.
February 23rd, 2020 10:56pm
For me when I lost my best friend grieving started from the moment they left. Why? because they were the only person who cared about me in a way which I felt comfortable telling them everything that was happening in my life weather it was school related or home related. I felt like I lived two lives a school life and a home life. They knew everything even all times when I wanted to curl up in a ball and just cry for hours upon hours but yet they managed to cheer me every single time. Losing them felt like I had lost everything.
February 29th, 2020 3:21pm
I am sorry for your loss. It varies in each case, I think. There's no exact timing for this. Some feel it immediately, some are more in shock and the grieve only actually kicks in latter on. Either is fine. It is a process that you need to go through and again, everyone is different. Losing someone you care about is always terrible, but time will help you. His/her memory will live through you and other people who love him/her. And with time, you'll be okay again. You'll probably be sad again whenever you remember, but it is normal.
March 26th, 2020 12:29pm
Grieving is different for everyone, some may start by being in denial, and for others all the reality and emotions of what happened can hit instantly. Sometimes people also just shut down after learning about a loss and need to be alone. I always recommend to reach out to someone close to you to talk about it. Grief is what happens when experiencing a loss, whether it be a pet, family, friend, or even celebrity, everyone deals with grief in different ways. Grief is a good thing, you’re accepting what happened and you’re able to react appropriately. Losing someone is hard and difficult to deal with, but remember you always have people to help you through your hard times, even here on 7cups.
April 17th, 2020 6:50pm
Grieving can be a difficult time for everybody and it acts in different stages and times for different people. It is never nice to lose anyone, and going through grief affects people in many different ways. Have you felt any clear emotions since losing your friend that you feel comfortable talking about? Here at 7 cups, we provide a service to make you feel as comfortable as possible, with friendly and compassionate listeners to talk to all hours of the day.If you want to talk more about how you are feeling, feel free to give me a message and I'll be able to listen.
May 9th, 2020 4:50am
Grief is different for everyone. I think that each person works through their grief on a different timeline. When I lost my best friend I felt nothing for the first day or so. Then the pain was almost unbearable. But every day it got just a little bit better. A friend told me to think of grief as a box with a red pain button on the inside. Also in that box is a ball. When grief is new that ball is huge and, as it bounces around in the box, it hits that button all the time. As time goes on, the ball shrinks. It still hurts when it hits that pain button but it does hit less and less often. I know people always say "Let me know if I can do anything for you." But the best thing a friend told me was "I'm here for you to talk anytime you need. Even if you have to tell me the same story over and over again, I'll listen." That's what makes 7 Cups so great - we're here to listen.
May 9th, 2020 4:53am
I think it starts the moment when you know you have lost your best friend. Denial , blame and regret can be there at the start. Acceptance is what which might come at different times for different people. But when it does I think you are in a better situation to final say your goodbye. You miss your best friend and you cry at their memory. You remember having fun together, laughs and mischief all in one. Sometimes you feel lucky that you were able to know such a wonderful person in your life and he meant to something in your life.