My best friend died and I don’t know what to do.
Q: My best friend died last spring when a car hit her on her bike. I’ve known her since we were toddlers and her parents live across the street. I feel empty without her and I know it’ll get worse in school, because I keep thinking of her never to go on to high school, to graduate from college, to get married and have kids. I think her mom and dad have gone into depression; her mom is worried all of the time and gets exhausted at little tasks, and her dad is getting moody and hardly ever talks anymore. My parents are going through a hard time, too, since she was like a second daughter to them, but they try to act cheerful for me. I do the same for them.
Me, my best friend, and two other girls used to be a tight foursome, but their personalities have changed completely since her death and it seems like we never have any fun together anymore. I feel sick all the time. I keep getting flashback-like memories whenever I see something that reminds me of my best friend. I miss her so much, sometimes I feel like I should just stay in bed until I die. I feel life is meaningless without her. Please help me.
A: I am so sorry about your loss. Losing someone you love is one of the most painful things we can experience. I am sure that you have heard by now that time heals all wounds. It really is true in the sense that eventually the pain will lessen and you will be able to focus on other things besides your loss. Eventually you will be able to just remember the good times that you had together. Be patient with yourself and all those affected by the loss.
In the meantime I suggest finding some books on grief, look into a support group, or find a good therapist. It is helpful to talk to someone neutral who can guide you through the phases of grief. It also helps to memorialize the loved one by doing things or creating things that remind you of her in a good way. What kind of things did she like? Were there causes she believed in? Maybe you could organize a fundraiser or just a memorial party to celebrate her life. Or maybe you could do this on your own in a private way by writing a poem, creating a special box or scrapbook with things that remind you of her. Listen to songs, write in your journal, talk to friends, teachers, church leaders, etc. Don’t just stuff your pain away. Allow yourself to feel your feelings and be honest with yourself and others how this is affecting you. It will get better someday, I promise. Take care.
Counts, H. (2007). My best friend died and I don’t know what to do.. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 25, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/08/26/my-best-friend-died-and-i-dont-know-what-to-do/