Cathy's post below reminds us that we can grieve deeply for friends who die, just as much as family members. I'm reading Let's Take the Long Way Home by writer Gail Caldwell who lost to cancer her best friend Caroline Knapp, a gifted writer who overcame both alcoholism and anorexia only to die of lung cancer at 42.
Caldwell has some beautiful insights into grief. Here's a sampling:
"My life had made so much sense alongside hers: For years we had played the easy, daily game of catch that intimate connection implies. One ball, two gloves, equal joy in the throw and the return. Now I was in the field without her: one glove, no game. Grief is what tells you who you are alone."