My dear friend: my experience with grief

angel-and-griefI’m not a religious person. I don’t attend church, and I don’t pray before bed. Even though I am not religious, I do believe there is life beyond death. I believe there is a place where our loved ones can connect and watch us from above. If there is such a place, I know they gained an angel when my friend passed on.

One of my great friends passed away in April of 2015. The day I found out was the worst day of my life. I went on social media, and it was flooded with posts about her. She had committed suicide at the age of 17. I couldn’t believe the things I read. I cried all night long and school the next day was spent with counselors. I had never experienced the loss of a friend, and it tore me to pieces.

I attended her calling hours shortly after that. I cried with her mother, who gave me a huge hug. I cannot imagine the pain her mother was and is feeling. Losing someone is never easy, especially someone so young. Grief has stricken me ever since. I’ve spent the last year spending most of my days at home, crying because I miss her so much.

She was a remarkable person. She cared so much for others, but tended to neglect herself. Her smile was contagious and she always had something nice to say. I don’t think there was a mean bone in her body. That’s what made her such a good friend.

I’ve gone through all the “what if’s”. What if I could’ve done something? What if I had listened more? Even with those questions, I knew in the back of my head it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t do anything wrong. However in the sad moments, your mind thinks of all these sorts of things.

Grief is always a difficult thing to cope with. More than a year later I still am trying to handle these feelings. I wish I could say I have come to terms with losing her, but every time someone brings her up, or when I bring her up, I feel an emptiness in my heart. I feel like a part of me is missing.

What I have learned is, it is totally normal to grieve for a long time. I like to take comfort in my belief that somehow, my dear friend is in a better, less depressing place. She deserves that much after what she went through.

For all of you who have lost a loved one, no matter the circumstances, remember you deserve to continue on. Try to make the world a better place, and never forget your loved ones.

Rachel LaBrie is our guest blogger.  Rachel is a young adult who strives to someday become an author. She also loves spending time with her 5 four legged friends.

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5 thoughts on “My dear friend: my experience with grief

  1. I too know that feeling of missing a part of you. I have my thought that comforts me and shortens the length of those moments: the pain I feel is just a reflection of the love I have for that person. It validates the pain and lets me accept it and move on to living my life. And rather then thinking of filling that hole left in me, I focus on building other areas to be strong again.

  2. I have never lost anyone to suicide, but everyone I know who has suffers greatly. I can only imagine the second guessing is intense. Years ago I suffered from depression and what I remember most about is that it lies. It tells you things will never get better. My guess is there is nothing you could have done to turn around her thinking. I am truly sorry for your loss and your suffering. I can only hope that over time you pain will lessen and perhaps writing this helped.

  3. I Am so Sorry for your loss. I am still grieving of my mothers dying February of 2016. Prayer Helps so much ! Writing In a journal also Helps. Everyone grieves
    diiferently, and Some have everlasting Pain. Although The days get better ! Please Know She Is an angel ! Watching over you !

  4. Thank you for sharing your story, it was very moving. I lost my only sibling, a brother, who had a rare type of cancer that had to be treated with radiation ONLY because it was near the base of the brain. The cancer treatments ravaged his body over a 3 year period. He could no longer eat or taste. His mouth was dry all the time because the radiation had destroyed his salivary glands. When he died he had been Cancer free for over a year…but it was the treatments that ultimately took his life at age 53. He was a troubled soul who had attempted suicide several times before the cancer diagnosis. I also lost my mom 25 years ago shortly after my youngest son was born. She passed at age 60 after she had been in a coma for 8 1/2 months. I find so often that I feel like an orphan because my whole family is gone now. When I still had my brother I could talk to him on the phone and say “remember when…..” and he knew exactly what I was talking about. Now there is no one with whom to recall those memories. That’s when I notice it the most. That empty feeling that haunts me. But as my grandmother used to say… “Life is for the living…what the ground covers we must put to rest.” I find that I can take comfort that neither my mom nor brother are suffering any longer. When I was in a depression after my brother died, my primary care physician gave me some sound advice. He told me rather than mourning their loss on the anniversary dates, honor their lives by doing something good for someone else in their memory. So now I do that each year and make sure that the person or organization I’m helping knows that it’s being done in honor of my brother or mother. This has changed my entire outlook on life and death. I only hope that my children will learn this lesson and someday when I’m gone they will be able to handle it well, because they had a good role model.

    1. What a lovely way to share such difficult times in life and to support each other. Lisa, I am grateful for the work you do. I send love and more angels to us all. dbao

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