Some of my dearest friends in the world entered a club no one wants to belong to - the one where you lose your best friend/non-romantic soulmate/other half. The realm of friendship is murky when a person dies - there is an expectation that we grieve more for our parents, our siblings, other family members, spouses or partners, but that friends will recover quickly.
First of all, grief is grief. You can't quantify it. You can't qualify it. You can't measure yours against mine or vice versa. It is grief. It is painful. And overwhelming.
Friends are chosen and often we have more contact with our friends in daily life than we do with many other very important people in our world. This has a direct impact on the level of loss we feel, how we move through grief and how we move forward.
To me, it is less about who it was in your life that you have lost and more about how deeply your every day life is impacted. How deeply your personality is tied to the person, to your relationship, to your experience with them. Each thread of us that is tied to the other person deepens our feelings for them both in life and in death. When those threads are broken, we are cast adrift and sometimes, people forget to try to help anchor us, too.
I long for us, as a society, to pick up the mantle of learning how to treat people in grief, learning how to be kinder to each other in our pain - no matter what kind. We are a long way off, but I know there are pockets and people doing just that. Helping the new members of the club adjust to the new "normal".
Forgive my rambly thoughts...