General Question

takeachance's avatar

How to deal with loss?

Asked by takeachance (701points) March 24th, 2011

It has been over 5 months since I lost a good friend in a house fire, He was only 13. I was 14. :/ He was really close and I was the last of his friends to talk to him the night of the fire. I miss him heaps and going through old school photos is hard just knowng that I’m never going to see him again :/ I am always going through old newspapers I have kept from reports about the fire and when I see the photo of him and his old house I get really upset.
Is there anyway I can help myself feel better?

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24 Answers

Neurotic_David's avatar

Grief takes time, my friend. There’s an old saying which I’ve found to be 100% true when it comes to mourning: “Time heals all wounds”. It may take weeks or even months, but with each passing day, you’ll feel a bit more normal, and a bit more able to go on with every day life.

Treasure the good memories of your good friend, and think about it him during the good times you’ll have in the future. Remember that it’s ok to be sad and it’s ok to cry, and as time passes, you’ll be less sad, I promise :)

SuperMouse's avatar

@Neurotic_David speaks the truth, it is all about time. This is still a very new loss for you. Here is some advice from Elizabeth Kubler Ross that might help you during this challenging time. My condolences to you and this young man’s family on this loss. <<Hugs>>

bunnygrl's avatar

Honey I’m so sorry this has happened. What @Neurotic_David is very true. It just takes time honey. Try to only think of the good memories, I knows thats hard because of the tragic way your dear friend was lost, but try to think of times when you laughed together, funny things that happened. Fix that image of him smiling in your mind, and keep it close. You were very lucky to have had such a close friend, and you’ll never really lose him. Not really, so long as you remember him he’ll always be with you. It will get easier to live with honey, I promise.

People said the same thing to me over 10 years ago when I was so torn with grief I couldn’t bare the pain, and i didn’t believe it but I promise its true. Be kind to yourself though honey, it is perfectly natural, and neccessary, to cry if you feel like it. Locking it up inside does so much harm. That’s what I did and I got terribly ill because of it. Sending you lots of hugs honey, xx

BarnacleBill's avatar

Grieving does take time. Check to see if there is a bereavement group through a hospital or counseling service that you can go to for free. Talking about your feelings of loss, giving voice to them, helps manage them, more than keeping your feelings internalized.

I am very sorry for the loss of your friend.

JasonsMom08's avatar

I second @BarnacleBill ‘s advice on searching out any support groups. Check with your school, church, doctor or local hospital for recommendations. You will need to talk to someone about your feelings and to help you with what you are going through. In time, you may also think of ways to honor your friend – raise and donate money to a local charity in your friend’s name, for example. I am very sorry for your loss, be well.

marinelife's avatar

You need to finish going through your grieving process. One day you will have memories of your friend, and you will smile remembering him and your activities and not the loss so much.

But until that day comes your sadness is normal. It is good that you don’t forget him.

I am sorry for your loss.

john65pennington's avatar

Here is my standard answer to people who lost a loved one or friend: in life, there are some things you can do something about, there are somethings you cannot do in your life. You cannot bring your friend back, but just think of all the memories you two made together.

Have a certain time for mourning the loss of your friend, then gather all the memories you have, and lock them away somewhere, out of sight. He is not with you any longer and there is nothing you can do to make that feeling go away.

It just takes time.

cak's avatar

I wish I had some remarkable answer that had the perfect solution. Thing is, I don’t. I’m still trying to deal with my father’s passing, and some time has passed now.

Grief counseling or even your guidance counselor at school, can help. Otherwise time. That’s the magic answer. Time. To pass that time, journal. Write about missing your friend, but also write about the times that made you happy. Put those photos to good use, build a book telling the story of your friendship.

Most of all, allow yourself to grieve the loss of a good friend. Don’t deny yourself this important step.


and Welcome to Fluther.

Seelix's avatar

The others who have mentioned that time heals all wounds are right. Try to focus on the good memories you have of your friend rather than the bad. That said, don’t ignore thoughts of his death when they do arise – like others have said, you need to grieve and accepting the fact that he’s gone is definitely an important step in the grieving process.

It may seem to you that 5 months is a long time. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not. Grief lasts as long as it lasts – don’t try to rush it. Talk to your school counsellor and see whether there’s a grief support group you can go to. It’ll get better. I know it doesn’t feel that way, but it will.

“Remember me and smile, for it’s better to forget than to remember me and cry.”

Meego's avatar

I am so sorry for your loss and the feelings it has brought to you. :(
I’m not going to give you any advice because I too am in a state of grief but I think ppl say it gets better over time, I think that’s wrong I feel worse, but I guess one day you and even I will just need to accept what happened to our loved one as what it is so we can grow without them as hard as that is to imagine, trust me I know, I don’t want to grow, growing is painful. One day we will catch ourselves smiling in a moment where we thought was not possible and that will grow too. The other day I was watching a show I dont think I’ve smiled in over a year and I caught myself smiling. I can feel the grief is just a little less, trust me you will know, you will feel it too. I was given this poem that has been handed down to family members during devastation of which I really honestly did not read until now.

Remember This Too Shall Pass Away

If I can endure for this minute
Whatever is happening to me,
No matter how heavy my heart is
Or how “dark” the moment may be-
If I can remain calm and quiet
With all my world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me-
If I can keep on believing
What I know my heart to be true
That “darkness” will fade with the morning”
And that this will pass away, too-
Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break “all the chains”
That are binding me tight in “The Darkness”
And trying to fill me with fear-
For there is no night without dawning
And I know “my morning” is near.

Helen Steiner Rice

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I lost my best friend to a car crash when we were both 14. I still think about her, miss her, and wonder what she would be like today had she survived. That was 44 years ago!! Then I lost my husband 6 years ago, and it hurt so bad I just wanted to run away from the hurt. I talked to friends and family members to try to make the hurt go away, until my sister-in-law finally told me that it is something I have to go through alone. A hard reality, but true. When you lose someone, it hurts. Nothing can make it magically stop hurting, so you just have to go through the process. The only thing that helps is time.

SpatzieLover's avatar

What I did as a teen when a friend died:

-Took walks to her graveside and put flowers there, sat & had a picnic.

-Read her old notes

-Looked at photos/videos

I think of her often…and it’s been about 20yrs. It’s something you need to adjust to. Decide how you’ll treasure his memory for the next decades. Maybe frame something special of his to look at to keep that memory alive.
my friend & I once opened the same fortune from a cookie at lunch…later that year she gave me hers as a Christmas present…I still treasure it

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I agree, @SpatzieLover . Decorating the grave, framing special photos are both good. It took about a year before I could watch a video of my husband, though. Before that, it was just too painful.

takeachance's avatar

thanks for the advice but i want to go to his grave but its at a famr the family owned which is 2 hours away from where I live. i spoke to the councelor whne it happened and I felt alot better but now it is all coming back to me and I feel heaps lonely again :/ i just want to see him again and seeing photos i cant stop crying :/

SpatzieLover's avatar

@takeachance Crying might be what you need right now. I tend to spend a day or two bawling my eyes out when someone I love dies.

Instead of stopping yourself…cry yourself to exhaustion…get it all out.

Then, get yourself out of the house and take a hike with some friends or an upbeat family member.

takeachance's avatar

my friends have noticed and are trying to get me out to take my mind of it . like last night they took me to the footy but straight away when they started playing I thought of him because he was a footy player. It seems to be everything I do or se reminds me of him :/ not that its a bad hing because i never want to forget him and i know i never will, but right now i think i do :/

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Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I so know what you are going through, @takeachance . I was terrified of forgetting my husband (I don’t know what made me think I would) and he was on my mind 24/7 for the first couple of years. But then slowly I could think of other things for a while, and the healing process began. I stopped bursting into tears every time someone mentioned him. Its just a process and there isn’t any way to hurry up the process. My kids kept trying to cheer me up by taking me out shopping or to the spa, but I would have rather just been left alone to work it out myself.

takeachance's avatar

Today is his 14th birthday, any ideas on how to say happy birthday and to just be happy thats its his birthday and not feeling really depressed?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

How about focusing on the good times you and his friends and family had with him? If appropriate, ask a few who were close to him to get together and celebrate the happiness that he had and brought to those who were impacted. Be sensitive to the fact that there may be others that are still mourning the loss more than you are.

There also comes a point in the mourning process where a person may need professional assistance in moving on. First, talk to your parents about it. If you are a part of a religious community, it may help to talk to one of their counselors. If not, contact someone at your school that holds this role. My heart goes out to you, but it is time to learn how to move on. Trust me…I have been there.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Did his parents survive? If so, maybe you could write them a note and tell them how much you miss him, and what he meant to you. I am of an age where I know people who have lost children as teens and young adults, and they are happy when other people remember and want to talk about their child, because they think about them every day.

takeachance's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I am always seeing the councellor at school and out aswell as the doctor.
@BarnacleBill no his parents also died in the fire.
i have spoken to another one of my good mates who was also mates with him and she is also upset, we had a 3 hour long phone call mostly in tears and not being able to understand eachother but it was worth it. seeing the councellor does help but it doesnt feel the same knowing i will never get to see him again. before he died he was saying how on the 7th of May (this saturday) he was plannign to have a massive party and had it all planned out. One of Will’s cousin has the book that he wrote all about this party in and he is going to try and make Wills dream come true. its a really nice thought and everyone who was mates with him including me are all pitching in and trying as hard as possible to make his dream party to come true but i know on the day so many people are gunna be in tears other then partying.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Perhaps you need to order a cake that says “Happy Birthday Will” and invite your friends over. It will be easier to grieve as a group.

Think about something that you and your friends can do that’s constructive that can be an on-going project that will commemorate Will. As an example, there is an annual book drive and fund-raising event at our library for children’s books to commemorate the life of a young boy who died from cancer; his scout troop started it, but it’s been going on for about 12 years.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Talk to him as thought he were still there… Because in a way, he still is, and always will be.

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