One often associates post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with some of the most traumatic events in our lives. But the loss of a friend whom we find so close to us can also be extremely traumatic and jarring to many. So, friendship PTSD is usually caused when someone’s friendship ends badly or suddenly.
How to Get Over a Friend's Death: Possible Remedies & Things to Do
Any loss can cause prolonged pain, but the loss of a friend can make you feel deeply disturbed. It also takes you through a whirlwind of emotions that often becomes difficult to process, especially if they are your best friend.
Check out more about how you can get over a friend’s death. Also, learn more about what to do and what not to do in such situations.
6 Popular Ways to Overcome a Friend's Death
1. Surround Yourself With a Supporting CircleTo get over these tough times, one needs the support of their loved ones. Your supporting circle generally includes the person whom you trust and go to for help. It can be your family members, friends, teachers, or anyone you find reliable and supportive. Whenever you are feeling down, they will pick you up and remind you that you are a strong individual whenever you feel down.
2. Take Good Care of YourselfIt might be challenging to take good care of yourself, especially when you have lost such a special friend of yours. However, to take care of your emotional and mental health, it is essential to take care of your body initially. So, even though it seems difficult to sleep and eat at these times, you should do so for your emotional and physical well-being.
3. Accept Your EmotionsDon’t neglect your feelings or emotions, and rather think as you should feel differently. If you feel like crying, do so. Try to accept your emotions in every possible manner. If others expect you to move on and feel you are not ready, take time to heal.
4. Make Yourself Feel ComfortableSettling your discomfort and comforting yourself is one of the best things one should do to cope with the loss of a friend’s death. It will make you feel calm and better. Also, you can comfort yourself with anything you feel like doing and make your hard time more manageable.
5. Preserve MemoriesYou can even preserve the memories of your friend who has died by doing something. You can make a memory folder, mementoes, quotes, photos, or whatever you choose to remind of the person. Some even can thank their loved ones with a gratitude letter or do something to honour the person in a way they feel better.
6. Talk to a CounsellorIf the above ideas are not helping you out, then it’s a good idea to take the help of a counsellor or a therapist. They will help you navigate your turmoil and other grief without compromising your values. Also, they will offer you compassionate guidance to cope with the loss.
What Are the Different Reactions to a Friend’s Death?
Different people react differently to death. Particularly, if the loss involves the death of a close friend that you cannot accept, then it stirs up complex emotions. It provides the most stressful experiences, bringing out a rollercoaster of emotions. Some common reactions you might experience after knowing about a friend’s death involve shock, grief, numbness, dazed, dizziness, etc.
Here are some grieving experiences:
- Physical Grieving: It might make you tired and lead you to nausea, headaches, achy muscles, etc.
- Mental Grieving: Forgetfulness, poor memorising capability, lack of concentration, etc., are some examples of mental grieving.
- Emotional Grieving: This might lead to anger, guilt, despair, sadness, loneliness, and disbelief.
- Social Grieving: This happens when a person doesn’t feel like seeing anyone or communicating with anyone, but they feel socially pressured to do so.
- Behavioural Grieving: One might experience an unusual change in their behaviour as well. This might lead them to dreams or nightmares and even changes in their sleeping pattern.
- Spiritual Grieving: In these situations, one’s beliefs are felt challenged. They may also struggle with having faith in the things they used to believe in previously.
Throughout this grieving process, one also expresses their condolences for losing a friend.
What Are the Things to Do on a Friend’s Death?
Everyone knows that death is a natural process of life, but when it’s a friend’s death, the pain is stronger.
Here are eight things that you can do on a friend’s death to make this loss into something more manageable:
- Try to Join in Rituals for the Funeral: This is not only a way of honouring the person who died, but it also helps in gathering with other people who knew your friend. Talking to them might make you feel comforted and assist you to get through the first few days.
- Connect With Your Mutual Friends: You can invite your mutual friends or organise gatherings to mark their important days in their honour. You can even plan with your friends to do a charity in their name.
- Face Your Emotions: You must accept the finality of losing a friend and face your emotions. Whatever your emotions, take them out, and don’t suppress them; otherwise, they might depress you.
- Get the Support You Need: If you need plenty of support from your loved ones to overcome your grief, ask for it. Whoever you find might be right for you, take support from them.
- Try to Channel Your Feelings into Some Creative Activities: Try to focus your grievance on creating something new. You can focus on any art type, whether painting, dancing, writing or any other creative activity. These can be therapeutic.
- Try to Incorporate Self-Care into Your Daily Routine: You can read a book, listen to music, meditate, perform yoga, pray, etc.
- Re-Visit Any Sacred Place: Though you might find it hard at first, visiting any sacred places might make you feel closer to your friend.
- Redefine Yourself: A friend’s death might lead you to think about the meaning of life. So, take your time to decide how you want to define yourself and what kind of person you want to become.
What Are the Things Not to Do on a Friend’s Death?
A friend’s death might put you in a state of complete shock. At this moment, it is important to manage your emotions and have control over them.
Thus, you must take care of the following nine things you should not do after a friend’s death.
- Be Curious about Their Death or Try to Gather Information on it: Though human nature tends to be curious, however talking about this makes your grieving situation even more painful.
- Mourn Publicly: One should try to control one’s emotions; otherwise, it might make others upset as well.
- Sit Alone for a Long Time without Indulging in Any Activities: This will provide you with a constant feeling of hopelessness.
- Over Thinking: Thinking over the same heart-breaking situation, again and again can lead to hallucinations.
- Get Disconnected from Everyone Around You: If you withdraw yourself from others, then things might get worse with time, and it might lead you to a more serious issue like clinical depression.
- Focus Extremely on Overcoming this Particular Situation: Overcoming such situations takes time, but if you focus on overcoming it on an immediate basis, then you might take the help of drugs or alcohol.
- Behave Abruptly With Others Surrounding You: Often, in such situations, one might feel anger or guilt inside themselves, which might make their relationship bitter with others.
- Avoid Talking about Negative Things: In this situation, one should avoid talking or discussing harmful activities like suicide or dying.
- Using Social Media Frequently: When it comes to grieving, social media is a double-edged sword. So, until and unless one is ready to relieve their memories, one should avoid using social media. It will help you deal with the potential pain of your friend’s death.
Thus, there is no quick fix to get over a friend’s death because healing does not happen overnight. The loss and grief you feel from losing your partner-in-crime, or your primary confidante can be deep inside. So, it takes time to adjust and cope with what has happened. Be patient and take the help of trustworthy people for your comfort and support.
FAQs About Getting Over a Friend’s Death
It is common for the grief process to last a year or longer. Though the pain might become less intense with time, it’s normal to feel emotionally involved with the deceased friend for many years. However, a grieving person must resolve the life and emotional changes that arrive with the death of a loved one.
In a grieving situation, solitude is essential for healing. If you avoid solitude through attachment to others or constant distraction, then you probably avoid any necessary or normal pain.
Losing any significant person in your life might accompany you with a series of emotions, usually expressed as grief. This grief persistently causes anxiety. Thus, grieving people often might feel anxious about the safety of their loved ones.
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