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niamh18

Fear of losing others

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Hi, I lost a close friend to suicide when I was 17 and 10 months later, another close friend was tragically killed in a car accident. I’m now 20 but still grieving so hard for both deaths. I’ve felt a completely different person since, a shell of who I was before. I worry so much about people close to me dying, I obsessively think about death and morbid conversations play in my head to the point its now normal for me. I love life as a young uni student but I am still full of so much sadness and don’t know how to deal with the overwhelming feelings it brings me . 

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I am sorry for your losses.  Coming so young and unexpected it shattered your world as you knew it and how you'd always viewed things. Before death touches us, we assume life will continue as it always has, we're in a cocoon of innocence, afterwards we realize that unbidden changes can come at any time and it sounds like that's where you're stuck.  It helps to realize that death is a natural part of life's cycle and that none of us are guaranteed a set number of years.  It also helps to know that even though we may not welcome the changes it brings, we can get through them.  The unexpected part of all this was in learning that even good can come from bad...I have learned so much through my grief journey, I view them as rich lessons that I would not have had, had I not experienced this.  I appreciate those lessons.  I also realize that does not mean I wouldn't trade everything to have the people back that I love and lost, of course I would, any of us would.  But that doesn't negate the rich lessons and people I've met along the way in this journey.  I have learned that the big joy I had in life (my husband) is gone but there are still small joys to embrace and appreciate through my everydayness of life now.  I have learned to live in this present moment, for it's all I truly have.  I have warm rich memories and I hold them dear to my heart, but it is in today that I live.

It helps to do our grief work, and thus process our grief.  http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/08/grief-understanding-process.html  We can't blot it out as it's always still there haunting us and waiting for us to deal with it.  I want you to know that there IS life after loss.  It can take quite a while to process our grief, to find purpose, to build a life we can live, but we can do it...I have.  The timeline for everyone is different, some seem to move through this process more quickly and well, but for most of us it's a roller coaster of emotion, challenging our beliefs, upending our lives, and it's a long process to making our way through it.  

Grief has a beginning but not necessarily an ending, as we continue to miss them.  It does, however, evolve and the intensity of pain will lessen as we begin to adjust and cope.

You might consider getting grief counseling.  There are some that charge according to income and you might also check and see what counseling is provided through your university.

 

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My dear, I'm so sorry for the losses you've experienced so early in your life. The older you grow, the more you will encounter many of the so-called "necessary losses" that are part of life ~ but when you are young and hit with the sort of sudden and tragic deaths you describe, it is especially challenging and, as you say, overwhelming. It is also very isolating, since it is unlikely that those in your circle of friends can relate, as they won't have any idea of what you're going through.

I see that you are in the UK, so I don't know what resources are available to you there, but as a "young uni student" I would hope that your university has a health center that offers counseling services. Here in the US we have Actively Moving Forward (AMF), a grief support network for young adults and college students ages 18 to 25. At the very least, I encourage you to visit their website to explore and take advantage of the many resources they offer online.

I think that learning more about the effects of suicide and traumatic loss on the survivor would be helpful to you as well. You'll find a wealth of information on each topic on these pages:

Grief Support for Survivors of Suicide Loss

Coping with Traumatic Loss: Suggested Resources

Finding Grief Support That Is Right For You

 

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