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shockvalue's avatar

How do you deal with the death of a friend?

Asked by shockvalue (5775 points ) February 15th, 2009

My friend was just killed in a car accident last night. He was only 22. Hit by a drunk driver.

I’m still numb, but I know it won’t last. How do I deal with this?

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20 Answers

Trustinglife's avatar

My heart goes out to you.

I’m not quite sure what to say, but I’m curious: you are wanting advice on how to deal with it? How to grieve? Are you more wanting words of comfort, or specific things you can do to help you feel your feelings and move through them?

shockvalue's avatar

well I’m not really sure how to deal with it. I’m still kind of in disbelief. I guess it would be nice to know how other people grieve. What seems to help get you through it?

steve6's avatar

It has happened to me several times. The feelings I went through were different from when some of my old relatives died. It seemed that I loved the relatives more than the young people who died but I expected the old people’s death. When the young friends passed I had more of a sense of my own mortality and was pained by the decades that these people were robbed of. As always it didn’t sink in right away but I did grieve for them and I know their families were crushed and don’t know if they could ever recover from such a loss. It is a time for prayer and do what you can for those most affected by the tragedy. Were you really close with the deceased? Has it hit you yet? It seems to take me two or three days before I really cry for them. My condolences for what it’s worth. I know that sounds shallow coming from someone you don’t know but hang in there and try to help someone if you can.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I, personally, don’t go through the crazy stages of dealing with grief like I’ve heard so many times before.. I just get angry at life.. then I eventually get over it.. time heals all wounds but age.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Spending time together with mutual friends, talking, sharing photos and memories, crying.

It’s really important for parents when their children’s friends attend the visitation at the funeral home and the funeral or memorial service. Take pictures, mementos, etc.

I’m really sorry to hear about your friend.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

my grief mostly comes from missing the person that is gone and sadness at the tragedy that took place. And also at the grief of other people who are suffering over the loss. Theres not much I ever did to deal with it, it just heals over time and you will always carry some level of sadness over it, it just wont affect your life as much over time.

Bagardbilla's avatar

I will hold you and his family in Light!
...in the past, these words have brought me some…release.
“I was born of a miniral, I died.
I was reborn as a plant, was consumed. I became an animal, I died. I became a man. Why should I fear death?When have I become less from dying?
I will die a man and be reborn among angles. ” Jalaluddin Rumi

answerjill's avatar

I’m so, so, sorry. A friend of mine was killed in an accident almost a year ago. I hear that although the sense of loss never fully goes away, the first year or so is the hardest. My advice would be to talk about it with people—family, friends, a therapist—someone. Also, one thing that helped me a bit was to write letters to his family and significant other, telling them of my memories and feelings for him. Again, I’m sorry. Take good care of yourself.

marinelife's avatar

I’m so sorry, shockvalue, that this happened to your friend. There is always an extra measure of grief when someone young dies, because we mourn not only their loss, but the loss of their potential.

We can talk with you about our own experiences, but each person walks through grief alone.

Be good to yourself as you grieve. Make a point to get enough sleep and to eat even if you don’t feel like it emotionally.

As AlfredaPrufrock mentioned, sharing memories and grief with others who are also mourning can help. That is how our rituals of funerals and memorial services developed. They are not so much for the dead, who are beyond the need for that, but for the living, so that we can remember and celebrate the person we lost and the place they held in our hearts.

Maybe you two had a special place you hung out. You could go there and remember your friend too.

When I lost my sister, I got comfort from talking to her about what was going on.

If you are up to answerjill’s advice, a note in a card to his family, even, will be of help to them (and doing that may help you). What to say? Something about how knowing your friend that changed you or an anecdote or particular trait he had that you will always remember.

Finally, grieving does not mean perpetual sadness. It’s OK to laugh with friends remembering the goofy things your friend did. It’s human and natural.

augustlan's avatar

I have nothing to add to the wonderful advice already given but offer my sympathies. {Hugs}

cak's avatar

I truly have nothing left add. I just wanted to send my condolences. I’m so sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my thoughts.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Well, for one, sorry for your loss, drunk drivers who kill others should be executed. There is no excuse for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Secondly, the people who claim there are five or six or whatever stages of grief are not speaking the truth. It might be that way for them, but to say it is the same for everyone is bullshit. I only have two stages of grief. Anger and acceptance. I didn’t say grief because I am already grieving. Sometimes, the acceptance is a long time in coming. It just depends.

Personally, I also use this little quote by Kurt Vonnegut to help me deal with grief. Sure, it’s from a fiction novel, but so what. Anything that helps is good, in my book.

“The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, have always existed. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we look at the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any momentn that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.

When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people ‘So it goes.’ ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five.

tocutetolive90's avatar

I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. It was hard for me to deal with my friends passing. I had one die last year from falling off a horse and one died over the weekend from diabetes. I just cried and let it all out and talked to my friends and we just tried to kept each other strong and kept us going. We visit their graves whenever we can and we just think how they are watching over us and would want us to be happy. It will take time, but everything will be ok. Best thing to do is think about the past and how much fun you guys had and just keep each other strong.

cdwccrn's avatar

I’m sorry, too. Be sure to attend the wake and funeral. Support the surviving family with your kind words. All this with help with your own grief.

shockvalue's avatar

Thank you so much everybody. I’ve been talking a lot with friend that knew him. It’s hard, because they’re all on the other side of the country. However, we’ve all decided that Alex would just be bored with us all sitting around sobbing over him. He’d probably want us to get off our asses and create something out of all these emotions.

You’ve all been a great help. So again, thank you for your condolences. They have made me stronger, and I’m working hard to just keep moving.

Nimis's avatar

I’m sorry for your loss, shockvalue.
Am glad to hear that you have people to talk to though.
[sending good thoughts]

LouisianaGirl's avatar

I am so very sorry for your loss. Just remember the good times you had with that person. Deepest sympathy for you at your time of need and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

In ‘96 I went to my home town for my Mom’s funeral. She had been ill and my father had passed previously, so I was prepare for her death. After the funeral there was a gathering of friends, and I saw some good friends I had not seen in almost 20 years. During the catch-up, it was mentioned that two very close friends had passed unexpectedly over the past several years, and I had not heard of it. I felt surprised, shocked, and deeply saddened (words cannot express…).

TheWatcher's avatar

Nombre patris, et fili, et spiritu sancti, amen. When someone dies. It’s never easy, but you can’t let yourself be tormented my it. Instead of mourning his passing and how you will never be with that person again, try to lighten up. Remember the good and happy moments with the person. I’m sure if your friend were alive, he’d tell you to not weep for him, to move on and enjoy life. Life is indeed to short for sadness…

asher20091989's avatar

i am really sorry for your lose. i know that is mega hard. you will most likely never fully get over your friend. i lost my best friend a little over a year ago.. this boy was my soulmate. my everything. i can’t even begin to say how i felt then. eventhough now things are semi-easier, they will never be as easy as they were. i will always have a spot in my heart for my friend. i will always keep him close to me in my heart. soemthing that makes me think that it is the best place for him. other times i just sit and cry for hours upon hours just thinking of him. from one person to another, don’t hold in your tears. they only hurt you more in the end. i am sorry for your lose. i know how horrible it is to go through!!

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