We met in High School, in fact in a short space of time he became my best friend. I never really had a best friend before, so the adjustment had to be made, in the end, I did enjoy our conversations, the attention, the fact that there was this person you could depend on to be there for you.
We sat together in class, if I missed a day, he would get the notes to me, words cannot explain the chemistry between two men that are really good friends. Do you get the picture of two young men walking together and one was threatened by someone and the other without any thought would just jump in the fight, no questions asked?
He was dependable, quiet, unpredictable and in his own way wanted to achieve much in his life. We would share dreams and goals for the future, the kind of woman that we would eventually marry and have a couple of kids.
We were now in college, we were struggling financially so he decided to leave, find some tuition and return, but I did not hear from him for a long time, that was fine, however, we are duds, we can handle that, when I see him it will be okay again. Met with a friend of mine who blurted out, guess what? I heard Cosmore passed on! I stood there trying to comprehend what I had just heard, it made no sense, this was my good friend, we were supposed to live next door to each other, our families were supposed to meet on Saturday nights and do movies, our wives were supposed to be popping corn while we decide which movie we were going to watch. The feeling of shock in losing a loved one is one that you can never prepare for, I was certainly not prepared for this.
Take time to mourn,
It may not be readily offered, so take the time to mourn and don’t worry about some arbitrary timeline as you process the loss. As your life marches on, take an hour here or an afternoon there to remember your friend. As with all grief, the worst stings will subside with time and be replaced by a softer ache. Talk with friends and family, let yourself cry, coping with grief does take time so take trips down memory lane and let this process move forward naturally.
Family and close friends can help you cope with the grief. Don’t be afraid to let others know how deeply the loss has touched you. People can only rise to the occasion when they truly understand how much they’re needed. You’ll be surprised how the smallest acts of kindness and empathy can change your entire mood at the toughest moments.
You will never replace your friend,
Friendship is renewable, but people are not. Realize that no person or new friendship will ever quite replace the one you’ve lost. To consciously seek out a replacement only marks the loss more and highlights the comparative shortcomings of any candidate for the title of “new best friend” will surely have. Give yourself time to develop new relationships naturally and let them take their own unique paths.
Open you to new experiences,
Day by day, I adjust to life without my best friend. On particularly bad days, I take it moment by moment. No doubt, John (not his real name) and I had a lot left to learn from each other, but I’m glad we had those years. He will always be partly responsible for the man I’ve become — the humour I find in life’s little absurdities, my ear for good music, my ability to play football. He would have wanted me to write this and would have wanted me to eventually move beyond the grief and embrace new friendships with as much devotion as I embraced ours.
Dedicated to my friend Cosmore Spence.