Conversations around death and dying often focus on losing family members. But the reaction to the recent death of “Friends” actor Matthew Perry illustrates the grief that comes with losing a friend — or even just a celebrity who felt like one. Many times, this loss can be equivalent or even greater than losing a family member.
Perry’s “Friends” cast mates (and close friends) released a joint statement two days after his Oct. 28 death, declaring themselves “more than just cast mates. “We are a family,” their statement read. “There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”
How can you process a loss of a close friend like this? Northeastern University associate professor of applied psychology Christie Rizzo offered tips for managing this type of grieving process.