Mourning – noun; an outward sign (such as black clothes or an armband) of grief for a person’s death/a period of time during which signs of grief are shown.
Mourning comes naturally after a loss, especially after the death of a loved one, pets included. We can go days, months even, without eating, sleeping, or talking to anyone. We become entrenched in a state of grief and many times, there seems to be no end in sight. But it is only natural to grieve death. There needs to be time dedicated to just that: time to mourn.
Losing a friendship is no different. Although the other person is still alive and well, something happened to make the friendship end. Sometimes it’s due to distance and time, sometimes it’s a difference in opinion, an argument gone too far, or a small change in lifestyle that made the two of you grow apart. Losing a friend hurts all the same. Just like death, it is not something we can ever truly be prepared for. And at times, it hurts even more than death because we know the person is a call, a text, a dm away. (It might even hurt more than a romantic break up!) However, due to whatever the circumstance, we are unable to contact them as freely as we did before.
We often like to think that forever exists, that our friendships can withstand the test of time. Unfortunately, some ultimately do not. We try to look for a definitive reason why it ended and when we are unable to, we become angry, frustrated, sad, and lonely — we grieve in whatever way we know how. Just like with death, we need to allow ourselves to grieve the friendship.
And why shouldn’t we? Unlike family, friends are strangers we choose to become close with. We choose them due to similar interests, having the same class together, or the simple need for companionship. Maybe it’s because of this choice that it feels even more devastating when they end. They may not be romantic by any means, however, friendships are still relationships that we nurture and grow all the same.
Allow yourself time to reminisce, to remember all the memories you created together. Remember the nights driving around town, the meals you’ve shared together, the tough times you’ve hurdled over. Know that the friendship happened and that it has molded you into the person you are today. Talk about the loss to another person. It might sound weird at first, but sometimes verabilizing it can help us to sort out the messiness of the situation. But most importantly, be honest with yourself. Be open with your grief and allow yourself to feel it. Mourning is a natural process of life and important if we wish to move on. So do not be afraid, allow yourself to mourn.