Losing a friend

Friendship and Family   ›   Friends  ›   Losing a friend

Sometimes distance builds up between friends or a conflict separates them. Losing a friend is never easy.  It triggers all kinds of emotions and upheavals: pain, abandonment, fear, loss of energy, etc.

Losing a friendship means grieving:

  • what you liked about the other person – We got on so well together!
  • your plans – We were going to sign up for swimming lessons together.
  • a group – I’ll never be able to hang out with his/her friends again.
  • some habits – I called him/her every evening!
  • an ideal – I thought we’d be friends for the rest of our lives.


Everyone heals at their own speed

When we lose a friend, we go through different stages. Everyone is different and experiences these things in their own way. Some people go through all the stages, and others just go through a few of them, in no specific order.



You tend to deny and not understand what’s happening and why.



Once the shock is over, you may feel lots of anger, frustration, a sense of injustice, and an inability to understand.


Guilt and bargaining

You’re ready to do anything to avoid losing your friend. But remember that continuing to hope can be very painful and the person may reject you even more if you try to cling. It’s better to let it go!



Expressing your emotions will help you realize it’s really over. Give yourself the right to cry and be angry. And be sure to try and take your mind off it: continue your activities, go out with your friends, explore new interests, or play sports.



Even though it’s difficult, life goes on. Give yourself time. Gradually, your emotions will die down. One day, you’ll realize that you feel better, you’ve made new friends, and you’re enjoying life again.


To help you get through the hard times, surround yourself with people who love you, like your friends, parents, or family. If necessary, call Tel-jeunes: that’s what we’re here for!


I’m afraid of losing a friend. What should I do?

First take time to think. Is your friend really becoming more distant or is that just your impression? Why is he/she pulling away from you? Talk to your friend and express your fears and feelings, without blaming him/her for the situation; speak using “I.” Together, see if you want to improve the situation and how you might do it.


If that doesn’t work, maybe you could take a break so both of you can think about things and take the time to define what you really want. You can also meet new friends and get interested in other people.