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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
Moderated by

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
June 19th, 2020 12:32pm
i've lost a friend to sucide and a friend due to drugs and grieving starts for diffrent people at diffrent times sometimes it may be when you first hear the news that they are no more or sometimes it might be the thought that you won't share the same memories with them as you used to some people start to grieve when they realize that they are gone for example you want to share your feelings to them you pick you cell to reach out them to you and you realize that it won't be possible it never gets easy it just gets easier to live without them diffrent people move on at diffrent times but eventually you learn to live with it all we can do is pray that they are in peace and pray for the strength for his/her loved ones
August 2nd, 2020 9:19pm
Denial is the first sign of grief. If you are denying that your best friend is gone, there is a high chance you have started the grieving process. During the denial, you may feel fearful, in shock, and in confusion. Not everyone grieves in the same way - it's different for everyone. It's okay to show your emotions and take to someone. Some people may also feel anger instead of the denial, and this is completely normal too. Feeling any type of emotion is completely normal and nothing to worry about. Grief is very hard to deal with and everyone deals with it in different ways.
August 12th, 2020 1:11pm
I'm my experience, there's no one way to start or finishing grieving or even know when to start or how to grieve. For each person I've lost in my life the process and timings have been different. We are all unique and the impact of a loss will effect us all differently. Don't feel like you have to grieve, it's not a mandatory requirement and you shouldn't force your yourself into a particular mould. Remember the times you shared with them, celebrate their life and let nature takes it's course some what. If grief doesn't ease naturally then there are avenues you can take to discuss and help you address it.
August 15th, 2020 1:51am
Grieving is not a mandatory process after a person passes. It is a natural reaction to a broken connection. You will see it is similar to when someone is broken up with. Grieving is a processing of an intense sadness. Delays in this process can be a lack of a connection with the person who has passed, or a shock to the fact that it indeed happened. If you are going to grieve, it is going to be when your mind is physically able to process that trauma. It is important not to force this process as it is, again, a reaction and not a mandatory process. People who routinely go through hard situations will not experience grief the same way as those who do not see those experiences for the obvious reason that they have already gone through it, they have a better idea of the process and how to manage. It is important that no matter what you are feeling, that you manage it properly.
September 9th, 2020 1:40am
Losing a best friend stirs up a plentiful of emotions in the beginning. May it be sadness, anger, guilt, nostalgia or something else, you soon reach a denial phase. Sometimes it takes forever to reach the stage of acceptance, but eventually, you come to acknowledge the truth of losing your best friend, something you've never once thought possible when you guys were still best friends. But, through that acceptance, it's when you truly start grieving, because you're able to put aside all these other emotions to solely give a proper goodbye to this once precious friendship and move on to new ones.
September 10th, 2020 10:12pm
Grief is such a personal experience that there is really no way to know exactly when you will start that process. Losing a best friend is absolutely heart-wrenching, and my heart goes out to you if you are going through this. In my life, I have lost so many close friends so I really sympathize with what you're going through. There is no real process for grieving a friend. You might think you've finished one day and then something will happen and it will trigger all those memories and make you feel all the pain again. It's just important for you to take your time dealing with the concept of losing someone who means so much to you and understand that it is natural to feel anything from anger to despair. But just remember, this too shall pass.
September 13th, 2020 8:38pm
I know when grieving starts because I begin to think about all the good times I had with them. I feel a heavy pain and I have no motivation for anything. I begin to feel lost and then I go into a state of disbelief and I don't truly believe that they are gone. Whether that be a loss of a friendship, relationship or the death of such. Then you learn to accept it and then you learn to live on but keep them with you forever. Grieving is hard but everyone goes through it. Its a part of life
October 14th, 2020 3:14pm
When you keep thinking of your memories with them on a loop. And listen to sad music too. It is devastating, and hurts like anything, but, the grief is necessary. And simultaneously cathartic as well. You need to do all that you can to purge it out of your system, step by step. That includes and is not limited to sad music and reminiscing or rehashing old memories, but also actively distracting yourself. Especially physically. Getting into sports, indulging in hobbies, reading positive or favourite books, exercising, and the like. Getting a houseplant also sounds like a good idea.
October 18th, 2020 7:15am
Grieving the loss of your best friend can be hard. The first stage of grief is denial. This when people either think they are fine or they just don’t want to believe their best friend is gone for real. There’s is however no timetable for how long grief should last or how you should field. However, at some points, your painful emotions of that loss are expecting to improve. Remember there’s no proper way to grieve. It’s a process, especially when it’s the loss of someone you were close with for a long time. There’s no magic pills to throw at your emotions. Take good care of yourself, make that best friend proud by carry out her legacy. That’s what a/he would have wanted. I’m so sorry for your loss.
February 3rd, 2021 7:57pm
The grieving process is different for everyone. Everyone experiences grieving in their own way. It may come in feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, or it may take on a unique experience unlike these. There is no wrong way to experience grief, but it may help to give yourself kindness and the permission to feel/not feel and experience/not experience grief in your own way. Understand that you don't have to pick apart or over-analyze your feelings (unless you feel that helps). Likewise, you don't have to allocate to your grief a certain period of time. Give yourself the gift of freedom from "fitting the mold" and the freedom to just experience whatever comes to you, if or when it comes to you, because everyone is different when it comes to loss.
March 25th, 2021 4:55pm
Grieving is a tough one because it's different for everyone. But the 5 stages of grief are real, you will just experience it at your own time. There really isn't a time for you to start grieving. But, for me someone actually had to tell me that I'm grieving. The first few emotions I felt were sadness, I couldn't stop crying for like a couple hours. My thoughts were everywhere because I was wondering if I had done enough with them and if I had said all I wanted to say. At the end of the day, I think when you start to reminisce about your memories with the person, you will know. Grief hurts, and it is not easy. Just know, you can take it at your own pace. My condolences on your loss.
March 31st, 2021 1:42am
The grieving begins when the loss of the friend is a fact, it is a reality that nothing can eliminate or change. When you already know that that person stopped breathing and its body no longer responds. It is there when it is inevitable and the grieving for the loss of the loved one begins.
April 16th, 2021 2:53am
Losing your best friend, whether the loss is unexpected (such as an accident) or something that was known (such as a terminal illness) is one of the hardest experiences in life. Grief can begin to set in when you notice yourself responding in some way to the realization that your person is gone. It can also begin when you realize that you will soon lose them. When grief begins, sometimes there is shock, numbness, a feeling of unreality, or even outright denial at first. When the realization sinks in, then you can start to feel a wide, wide range of other emotions. Sometimes you feel heavy, or feel like you have a hole in your heart, or you may experience fear, or find that you can't sleep. Whatever emotions you notice, they are okay to feel. They are your emotions and they're true for you. The important thing, when grieving someone's death, is not to avoid or run from your grief. Even though the emotions related to loss are painful and scary, they're natural, normal, and to be expected. If you find you cannot cope, then you might consider seeking professional resources or finding a grief and loss support group.
June 4th, 2021 1:06am
It is said that grief exists as a five level process - denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. You may experience grief in any one of these orders, there is no fixed hierarchy. Realize that grief is necessary upon the loss of a loved one. You should feel no shame in it. You may start with anger. Anger perhaps at society, friends, family, institutions, yourself or even the deceased. Denial can set in when your mind is yet to accept the reality of your best friend's absence. You may be carried away by activities you did together like drinking. Sometimes you may even say their name or get your phone to call them. Depression can come after because suddenly the world caves in on you and you feel the impact of the absence. You think about them constantly and feel overwhelmed with sadness. Bargaining follows and it is a different experience for everyone. I had an experience where I would say their name hard with my eyes closed believing they would at least appear before me if I concentrated. For you to regain control over your life you have to accept. To me it came as a resignation to reality. You find ourself letting go of the baggage and with time, you may come to terms with their absence.
August 1st, 2021 8:20am
I knew I was grieving my friend after we lost connection when I began to feel lost. I felt lost when I would do things that we used to do together. Redoing them on my own really helped me to form new memories and deal with the grief in a way I felt both honoured our friendship and that improved my mental health. I think another way I knew I was grieving was that I was sad more, and felt lonely without them. But I made sure to make stronger connections with people and form new friendships to help deal with my grief.
November 7th, 2021 6:04pm
At a time like this, I know one can feel extremely emotionally vulnerable, but the shock may not allow all your emotions to properly register. Grieving is a very individualistic process, and never an easy one at that. These emotions will come in their time, and when they do, let them flow out of you and get it out of your system in a healthy way. In the same way no person has the exact experience that you're feeling, nobody should be able to tell you how to grieve - but that does not mean that you should feel unable to reach out for support from those around you; should you feel you have nobody in your circle to reach out to - well, we're all on this site for a reason, right? Don't be ashamed to reach out for a listening ear if you feel it'd help at all. No matter what you choose to do, just remember you are not alone in this 💛
December 1st, 2021 4:08am
When you feel a scream building up inside you, which no one can hear, that is grief. That terrible overwhelming urge to scream when you know nothing is going right and everything is going wrong and there is this huge gap or void in your life and the absence of a person, then you know you're grieving. when you start missing a person so much that every little thing around you starts reminding you of them, of their habits, their nuances, their memories, when you physically feel a pain in your chest and nothing and no amount of relief can make it go away that ia when you know, you're grieving.