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5 Tips to Help You Cope With the Death of a Friend

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The death of a friend could be one of the most heartbreaking experiences a person could face in his or her lifetime. Losing a friend is never easy, but as hard as the experience is, you have to realize that eventually you have to continue with your life.

In my experience as a life strategy coach, I have had the opportunity to work with some strong people who had experienced this unfortunate event in their lives. Witnessing the way they were struggling to move on with their lives was one of the hardest things I have ever had to experience as a coach. I have to admit the path toward recovery wasn’t an easy one for them to walk through, but it wasn’t impossible. Eventually, they did recover, but only because they had the desire to close that chapter of their lives and start enjoying again what life had to offer.

If you are currently grieving over the loss of a dear friend, I encourage you to continue reading this blog.

Here are some tips I want to share with you to hopefully help you cope with the pain and suffering  you may be experiencing. I hope you can use these tips as motivation to get your life back on track.

1. Give yourself time to heal, but not too much.

Understand it will probably take some time for you to start feeling better again. On the other hand, you need to try as hard as you can to put an expiration date to your pain. The longer you take to allow the pain to go away, the longer it will take for you to get your life back. So give yourself time to heal, but don’t stay in that zone for too long. Do
it for you and also for the people around you because, in the end, they will be the ones paying for it.

2. Remember the good times you spent with your friend, but don’t obsess over them.

Remembering those good times you had with your friend will help you keep their memory alive in your life. There is nothing wrong with that. But the problem could start when you become obsessed with those memories and start pushing other people out of your life because you may feel like they don’t compare to your friend. Living that way may bit be healthy because you risk ending up alone.

3. Start building new memories with new friends.

Once you are ready, start sharing time with your other friends and start building new memories with them. The point here isn’t to replace the memories you have, but to create new ones so you can start having some positivity back in your life.

Seek professional help if you need it.

If after trying to move on with your life you still feel the sadness and the emptiness, it may be time for you to look for help. The truth is that if the pain you are feeling is too difficult for you to handle it by yourself, you may need the help of a professional to be able to deal with it. Don’t feel bad about it. Once you start receiving help, you might start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

 Allow happiness back into your life.

Yes, my friends…I know that not having a friend in your life is very sad. But the thing is, in the end, you will have to put that experience to the side and allow yourself to be happy again. I know the thought of you being happy again may seem very unrealistic to you right now, but believe me eventually you can be happy again. You just have to allow happiness to happen.

The days (and even months) after losing a friend could be one of the worst times in a person’s life. The important part here is to understand that everything has a purpose and a reason in life. And if God decided it was time for your friend to go and be with him, there is nothing you could have done to prevent it. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it’s sad, but life must go on, my dear friend.

It’s time to close that chapter in your life and start looking forward. This doesn’t mean that you will forget about your friend. It means you will honor their presence by moving on with your life and not succumbing to the pain and suffering you may be experiencing due to your friend’s absence.

Remember the good things you lived by his/her side, but allow their soul to rest in peace by letting go of your pain. The truth is that time has the ability to cure, but a little help from us won’t hurt. Stop the suffering and embrace the joy of life; in the end, that’s probably what your friend may have wanted you to do since day one.

Photo credit: AntonioGuillem/Getty Images

Originally published: March 15, 2019
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