Grieving the living.

This year I’ve lost two of the most loved people in my life.


One died. The other didn’t.


My Poppy was 89 and just a few months short of the big imaginary 90th all-nighter nightclub event we giggled about in his last weeks. My world became smaller and forever changed when he left me on March 23rd. I spent my life bracing for this very moment, however I learnt in an instant there is no preparation that can be done to soften a blow to your heart like that.


Immediately following his passing, a clear process began playing out.

Collect his belongings from the hospital, organise the transfer of his body to the funeral home, break the news to loved ones, make funeral arrangements, answer the door to flower deliveries, find an outfit worthy of last goodbyes, sift through photos and then of course the ceremony.


A gut-wrenching process, but a process no less.


Grief is only referred to when we talk of death. But what is the grieving process for losing someone who is still very much alive? Spoiler alert- it doesn’t exist. This form of loss may be the hardest of all to mourn.

Fact is:  adult friendships can fall apart just like relationships do. And just like in relationships, you can give your entire heart and still be left betrayed and heart broken beyond comprehension.  This pain emulates that of a death- a numb feeling of utter shock, disbelief.  The classic “what did I do to deserve this”, “why me” snotty sad song tears. Only there is something very final about a death. Knowing you have lost someone who will continue life after you is something else entirely to process.

As I’ve clumsily navigated this time in my life, I’ve been astonished by how many people have a similar story to share, yet none of us have a process to offer in order to move forward. So I wanted to share my learnings in hopes of helping to ease this agony for someone else.


  1. Honor the good times:

Smile knowing they were truly pure in the moment and shouldn’t be reflected on with anything but joy.


2. Get closure.

When someone walks away or when you know its time to walk away (and you will know when that time arrives) – do it for real. Don’t invest ongoing precious energy watching from afar.  Unfriend, delete, block. Break free.


3. Identify the learnings:

Where did it go wrong? What have I leant about friendships that I can take forward?


4. Give yourself permission to feel.

By doing this, your body can freely travel an organic process of acceptance. Some of those “feels” wont be pretty but certainly necessary.


5. It’s a good time to remember that nothing is forever.

Sometimes we get books to read in life, other times its simply a chapter. Either way, it formed part of your story.


6. Never play in the dirt.

Break ups of any kind can be messy, but honor yourself, your truth and the friendship you had by not sinking to a level forced upon you. These moments can turn out to be the most powerful when healing.


7. Don’t delete the photos.

There will come a time where you can look at these again with love and learnings. All that happens in life, both good and bad shape who we are.


8. Know you are worthy of love, loyalty and respect.

Its easy to feel disheartened, but you are so very worthy of all you seek in life and this journey has moved you closer to those who will honor your right to this.


To both of these souls recently lost- may you find peace.






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