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How to Mourn the Death of a Friendship

 

When a Friendship DiesDearly beloved we have gathered here today to mourn a loss.  Some friendships grow in different directions, others suffer a fatal blow, and other friendships fall apart at the hand of foul play.  It doesn’t matter what happened, friendships that fail are difficult to get over.

I know first hand that losing a friend can be tougher than heartbreak. My circle has been small for a long time, but when I found out that the value I placed on the word friend was not shared with one who I considered one of my closest, I kind of freaked out.  I didn’t really know what to do when I lost a close friend and I made some mistakes that made it a whole lot worse for me and for her.

 I don’t want you to go that route so here are four tips to help you cope with the death of a friendship.

1. Admit that you are hurting.

You don’t have to admit this to everyone, but be real with yourself.  If you have lost a friend, or a friendship is damaged – IT HURTS.  Admit that your feelings are hurt and you will be better able to move forward.  Many people invest a bunch of energy into proving the lie that they are, “Just fine,” without the friend.  You aren’t fooling anyone and you are hurting yourself even more.

2. Don’t play divide and conquer.

After the loss of a friendship there is usually a proverbial line drawn in the sand that forces mutual friends to choose a side.  Try your best not to create any drama or force people to choose between you and the former friend.

3.  Evaluate your use of the term friend. 

The hardest lesson that my eight year old daughter is learning is that not everyone is your friend.  True friendship cannot be severed! So when you lose a person that you thought was a friend, ask yourself were there warning signs that this friendship did not share a common definition or boundaries.  Search yourself to see what you could have done differently.

4.  Choose gratefulness.

The friendship wasn’t all bad.  Be grateful for the good times.  Treasure the time in the friendship when things went well and know that the old adage is true, “Some friends are for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”  Whichever category the friendship fell into try to accept it, learn as much as you can from it, and be grateful for it.

I know how bad it hurts to lose a friend.   Whether it is over something real or imagined, intentional or unintentional, accidental or maliciously concocted – IT HURTS.  I want to encourage you to leave space for grace, and leave space for reconciliation.  It may not be extended to you, but in the words of the Apostle Paul, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  You can’t control anyone else, but how you respond is totally up to you.

The best antidote for loosing a friend is becoming a better friend to the ones you have remaining.(Check out this post for tips on how to get along with other women.)  Loosing a friend made me realize that I have to be intentional about maintaining my friendships and treating others the way I want to be treated.  Remember, that even friendships that seem dead can find newness in different seasons of life.

Pray with me:

Dear Jesus

You admonish us to, “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”  Lord remind us that the measure that you use to forgive us, is the same measure we use to forgive others.  Help us to look beyond the hurt of a broken friendship and look to you to turn our mourning into joy.  Let us find joy in knowing that every friendship serves a purpose when we turn it over to you- even if the friendship is over.  Thank you for being the best friend anyone could ever have.  May we model our standard of friendship by the one you have set for us!  May we love as you love and forgive as you forgive.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen

LEAVE A COMMENT:  What is your definition of a friend?  How do you know a real one?  Have you ever lost a close friend?  What did you do to cope? 

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65 Comments

  • In today’s society, especially with people around my age, I feel like they’ve lost the definition of being a true friend. They have more associates than people that can definitely be classified as friends. My circle of friends is small as well and I’ve experienced the loss of multiple friendships. Through it all I’ve learned that praying for yourself and them is the most important thing you can ever do. Thank God for the good times and pray for their and your continued success.
    • Hi Ebony, Thank you for your comment. You hit the nail on the head. Prayer is key to healing and thriving! Blessings to you!
    • I find this very true, as well. Also, when you move – out of sight, out of mind. I’ve even made attempts to stay in touch long distance but it usually ends up with me being the one to initiate contact. People are busy, but it is sad that they are too busy to maintain friendships (or even develop something beyond acquaintance).
      • Hi Leanne, Thank you for reminding me that maintaining a friendship has to be intentional. I appreciate your comments and I am taking to heart the fact that I need to reach out more than I expect to be reached out to.
  • A friend is someone who is loyal, supportive, yet holds you accountable, honest, loving, kind, celebrates with you or mourns with you. I believe a friend is non- judgemental as well. It has my experience that a real friend will be there through everything the good, bad, and ugly.
  • A friend is someone who is loyal, supportive, yet holds you accountable, honest, loving, kind, celebrates with you or mourns with you. I believe a friend is non- judgemental as well. It has my experience that a real friend will be there through everything the good, bad, and ugly. Yes, I have lost a close friend. I talked to the person and we ended our friendship on good terms. Prayer was important
    • Hi Shaundallah, Thank you for your comment. What a great definition of a friend. Even though you have lost close ones, it helps us to be thankful for the real ones we have.
  • Tesha, I really needed to read this. As you know I have struggled with friendships at some of the most vital times in my life. I have truly learned the difference between a best friend, friend, and associate. I have also learned that some friendships are worth working on and some you just have to as you say just die. To me having a real friend is no difference then being that sister or as I sometimes refer them as that non – intimate relationship “My Boo”. When you lose a real friend a best friend for me it feels like I just broke up. A feeling you have when you lost your significant other. I’m currently dealing with some friendship/relationship issues and all I can do is just pray. Pray that the Lord order my steps and remove all the unnecessary people in my life. I’m happy I read this it reminded me that I need to pray more and harder.Love you and thank you for all your encouraging words.
  • I am so sensitive to rejection that I have problem when people I like reject me. I am working on knowing the truth, that I can only be the best woman of Christ I know how to be, their behavior is on them. I can’t make people like me, or care about me, or even act like Christians. Thank you for this blog.
  • I always thought that that the trauma of the teenage years was tough to go through but now that I have children who have GONE through those difficult years, I understand that it is much harder to witness their experiences than mine ever were. Your insights are powerful and I appreciate your spiritual ending to your post. Very helpful.
  • Just what I needed to read…thank you for the insight..
  • This is so good, and I am so thankful I read it. Friendships shift often, especially in ministry, so I appreciate this perspective.
  • Over the past year I have been slowly getting out of a toxic friendship. Although it was challenging and made me sad to cut someone out of my life who was in my wedding and I had known for so long, it was time. Your tips will help me remember why the friendship needed to end and how getting rid of negativity and drama pays off in the end.
    • Hi Amanda. Teaching someone the boundaries of your friendship leaves them with the choice to be in or out. You have to protect what you value. Your heart and your life are worth it. Don’t regret protecting yourself. Praying for you! Thank you for your comment.
  • Great article…lots of great info here. Friendships come and go its true….and sometimes they just change over time.
    • Hi Sandy, It is true that friendships change overtime. Navigating any change can be difficult so it is important to do so with love and grace. thank you for your comment.
  • Great advice! I’ve lost a few friends and it was the hardest thing. I hope to not deal with that again for a long while!
  • I’m not sure why, but I’m not a really close friend maker. I tend to have a reasonable circle of “friends” but I’m not a BFF kind of girl. The good part of that is I’ve never really LOST a friend, but I also don’t have that tight knit circle. But, I’m kind of aloof and go my own way alot. lol
    • Hi Jessica, Making close friends is a risk, but it has great rewards. Sometimes along the way you can get hurt, but Jessica I hope that you experience the joys of a close friendship without walls. Not necessarily the popcorn/bubblegum type of bff, but more of a lifetime true friend that walks with you through good and bad. Thank you for your comment. :-)
  • A friend to me is loyal, loving and kind. I don’t hold any hardships towards friends I no longer spend time with. I think in life we all move on and thats ok.
    • Hi Geanine, It is a sure sign that you are healed when the spot that was once sore no longer hearts. When we are healed then we can help others. :-) thank you for your comment.
  • I agree with most of this. Especially number 3
  • Unfortunately sometimes friendships die over time, and I’m not even sure why? I think both parties have to do their part to keep the friendship alive, as with all relationships.
    • Hi Carmen, You are right about friendships. We get out of them what we put into them. When it is not reciprocated it makes it difficult to maintain. I appreciate your comment.
  • Losing a friend is hard. Particularly if, like me, you are an introvert. I worked HARD to develop what I thought was an enduring friendship.
    • Hi Leanne, Working hard at a friendship that eventually falls apart is heartbreaking. Know that healing will come when you reach for it. I’m hoping for new friendships and for mutual understanding that will heal the hurt you have experience. Thank you for your comment.
  • I really agree with this whole post! I think it takes a really powerful effort on both parties to keep the friendship from falling apart and unfortunately sometimes it happens.
    • Hi Kungphoo, You are right. Sometimes it happens. We just have to be the best friend that we can and move forward in positivity. Thanks for the comment.
  • Thank you for this post. I am still at times grieving over the loss of a friendship from a couple of years ago.
    • Hi Jenny, I’m glad to help you in the healing process. It’s ok to grieve, but remember we don’t grieve as those who have no hope. Every friendship serves a purpose. Embrace the blessing of the lesson and move forward with grace and dignity. Praying for you.
  • Good thoughts. Loosing a friendship is so hard. Thankful for God’s grace and unconditional love.
    • Hi Katie. John 15:15 says, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Thank you for reminding us to revel in God’s unconditional love and friendship!
  • it’s hard to move on… and you can always return… but for self preservation – sadly, it’s necessary!
    • Hi Nicole. Those hard decisions yield the best fruit. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy but it is worth it. Thank you for this comment.
  • Enjoy friends for the moment they are there. Time and life divide us. I lost track of my best friend for 14 years, but we reconnected and it was as if we had never been a part. Celebrate the time together and treasure those times–love fully so there will be no regrets.
  • I recently had to mourn the loss of a friendship and it is so incredibly hard! This is a great post, thank you for sharing! I am going through it and applying much of what you said to my situation. :)
    • Hi Laura, Praying for you as you go through this. Glad to bless you with these tips. Don’t loose hope in the institution of friendship. :-) Stay positive and continue being a great friend despite what you have been through.
  • Thank you. Since becoming a mother I’ve lost two friends and I’ll be coming face to face with one of them this weekend at a friends bday. I thought the two I lost were my closest yet I was so wrong. So wrong. Wish me luck on Friday night.
    • Hi Erica, I will be praying for you! The blessing is knowing the truth about the relationships that you held dear. I’m praying that God will bring forever friends into your life and that as your mourn the lost friendships that you will find healing and happiness ahead. Here is a great big cyber-hug from me to you: ((HUG))
  • I’m lucky to have a number of friendships that have lasted a long time. I’ve known one friend for 30 years now, another for 19!
  • I really like this – it is quite hard to lose a friend – quite like actually mourning a death. A true friend to me is someone who is there through “thick and thin” and of course we are all fortunate if we have one or two close people like that in our lives – obviously you did at least at one point. As I get older, I am appreciating my close friendships more and more. Thanks for this reminder!
    • Hi Clare. I’ve been blessed to understand more about what it means to be a true friend. I can admit that I have made some mistakes and suffered through the mistakes of others. Through it all God’s friendship has been all the more highlighted in my life. Thanks for your comment.
  • Oh I had that experience a few weeks ago, I think I blogged about it too. Thank you for your pointers, they are very good suggestions. I also realized that my definition of friend and this other person’s was different, so we didn’t share the same levels of respect. Thank you!
    • Hi Maria. Thanks for your comment. I would love to read your blog about friends. Common definitions are essential to lasting friendships. I’m so blessed that this was helpful to you. Blessings to you!
  • I’ve had to let friends go before because they were toxic. It’s not easy at all, but there is peace once the break has been made.
  • This was really awesome. I enjoyed reading this, and have too felt the sting of a friendship gone astray. I pray for your heart, Tesha. Peace to you!
    • Thank you Brittany Z! Its a difficult journey but prayers truly work miracles. Thanks for your comment Brittany and thank you for all of your support.
  • As I’ve gotten older my circle of friends has gotten considerably smaller… Some by choice and others by necessity. Losing a friend is a sad affair, especially if it was someone close. Good post on how to handle the loss.
  • I don’t think there is a manual to help with it. We all mourn in different way and there is no right and wrong way.
  • Great message! I am going through something similar and have come to realize this person was never truly my friend to begin with. It’s amazing to look back and realize I supported her but she rarely supported me. What a well timed message for me! I’m stopping by from Christian Women Blogs and am following you now!
    • Hi Sarah Ann. I appreciate your support. SO glad to bless you with these words. When we share common expectations in a friendship – the friendship lasts. When they differ – things become strained. When they are violated – that’s the danger zone. Praying for healing for you! Blessings to you!
  • Great post. Friendship is a choice so when it falls apart it can be devastating. We spend more time and share more intimate details of our lives with friends than with our families sometimes. When it ends,it can feel like a part of you is gone. I love your four suggestions to get through that loss. Thanks for sharing!
    • Hi Erica. I agree that it can be devastating. We have to remain full of love, hope and grace even if we have to do it from a healthy distance. Blessings to you! Thank you for your comment.
  • Tough one. My circle of friends is also small. I’ve found that one of the biggest hurdles of late is that most of my friends are selling something, which totally kills a lot of friendships with the badgering. Tough when you had few friends to begin with!
    • Hi Elizabeth. Set some boundaries with your friends – a time to sell and a time to chill. :-) Blessings to you. Thank you for your comment.
  • A true friend is very rare. I happen to be blessed with my husband as mine. For better or worse he is my rock!
    • Hi Erin, Marriage is one of the purest forms of friendship. It is a treasure and a joy! Thank you for reminding us of that truth. Blessings to you!

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