One minute you were laughing, without a care in the world, enjoying each other’s company. Maybe you were watching funny animal videos, or an old favorite show, or simply going out to eat and catch up at your favorite restaurant. It was all fun and normal, then, suddenly, death came in uninvited and stole your friend from you. Maybe it was out of the blue, maybe it was after a long battle with a disease sickening them, maybe you prayed for a miracle that never came. It could have been a lot of different scenarios, but the one thing it was true for all of us who have lost a friend–it sucked.
You not only watched yourself deal with the heartbreak of losing a dear loved one, you have also watched a family you love dearly deal with a pain even worse then yours. You questioned the goodness of God, and woke up the following mornings wishing it was some nightmare and that the doctors had made some stupid crazy mistake. But mornings passed, and you soon realized that you are experiencing life without them from now on, whether you like it or not. As you do, though, I ask you to remember this.
1. You were a great friend.
Stop pondering about how you could have been a better friend or been there more and regretting not spending every waking moment with this loved one. Be thankful for the time you had, and use this as a lesson. With everyone you meet, you never know when God will call them, or you, home. So appreciate those around you, but never regret the past.
2. It sucks.
It is not easy to lose anyone, especially a friend. Time won’t heal all the wounds, and sometimes, you have to get over your pride and cry. Be real with yourself, have some humility, and reach out to others for comfort and help. I know you have seen this quote all over twitter, but “it is okay to not be okay.”
3. Live how they would want you to live.
Don’t stop your life all because your friend died. Chances are, your friend dying taught you how to live life to the fullest. Appreciate every day like it is your last, and live with the joy they once lived with. When they look down on you from Heaven, they want to see you laughing and living life, not upset.
4. Pictures are important, but aren’t the only way you can remember your friend.
You will forever cherish the moments you have shared with the loved ones that have pictures to prove it, but also you will cherish the moments and memories you shared with them that don’t have pictures. Write all your memories in a journal, and whenever you look back on your memories, remember that cheesy quote everyone posted on their eighth grade graduation day: “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.”
5. Your friend is gone.
They are gone physically, and you will no longer be able to hug them, go to the mall with them, or go to the beach with them. You can’t do worldly things with them. But even though you can’t see their physical bodies, you can see them in the rainbow outside your window, the view after your hike, and in the little joys in your life. They are still with you, even if they aren’t there physically.
6. God is good.
If there is one thing I have to tell myself over and over again when I think about the suffering and death of my friend, it is that God is good. Life sucks, death sucks, but just remember that you serve a God who is faithful in providing a peaceful paradise for your friend, and who loves and cares for your heart while on Earth.
Though losing a friend may be challenging and a hard time for you to handle, know you are not alone. Live your life with the joy of the good Lord and the truth that you will see your friend again one day. My prayer for everyone reading this is you would have peace in your heart and grow in wisdom through this trial, and most importantly, never forget that while your friend may be physically gone on this Earth, but they are never gone in spirit, and will be a guardian angel for you in all you will experience in life.
This post is dedicated to a dear friend of mine who recently passed named Jena. Thank you, Jena, for being a better friend than me, and embodying joy even in the hardest trials of your life. You have left this world and entered the gates of Heaven, but I know you have not left my heart.
Originally posted here: