You didn't let your friend down when it mattered, and now the person who needs to be taken care of is you. What will help you grieve this loss in a way that feels substantial and satisfying so you can move on?
Again, I believe this is very personal and there is no right or wrong way to do it. While wakes and funerals provide ceremony and structure for the first days of a loss, it can take months and even years to fully process losing someone you were very close with. Some people find it helpful to donate to a charity that fights the disease or illness that struck their friend. Others find comfort in visiting the cemetery or memorial park. Lately, some people have become very creative with online memorials where friends can visit and look at pictures and share memories of someone they have lost. To some in my generation, this seems macabre, but to me, it's just a way of using the technology to honor and remember someone who meant a lot to you.
Regardless of religious views, many of us continue to feel the presence of people we have lost even long after their passing. I have many internal conversations with my father even though he is gone nearly ten years now. Luckily, he repeated himself so much that it's very easy to remember what he would have said about many things.
I'm suggesting that by doing something outside of WoW to help mourn this loss, it may come to seem less critical that you kill the Lich King, or kill him in some particular way. You may be satisfied with what you have done or you may want to do it repeatedly, as is very common among WoW raiders. You may well feel a greater sense of closure about the whole thing that allows you to move on - though not necessarily by forgetting about this very meaningful connection.
While it may seem that online gaming has created a whole new way of relating, people bring very human needs and tendencies to this undertaking. We enjoy the fun, distraction and challenge. We strive to feel competent, triumphant, victorious. We crave connection, acceptance, approval, the feeling we are part of something. We look for support dealing with problems in living that trouble us: crises, pain, transitions, and losses. What's new is the internet has provided effective and innovative ways to help people find each other. This has led to much suspicion and criticism from the older generation and the media, but there are clearly many occasions when finding each other can make all the difference.
This is one of them.
Dr. Mark Kline thought Char was a mild-flavored North Atlantic fish before playing Starcraft II. Have a question for Dr. Mark? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your identity will remain confidential.