I’m really sorry I’ve been out of action for a while. A very good friend of mine recently took his life and I have been taking some time to come to terms with this, start to grieve and look after myself and those close to me. This is the first time I’ve lost someone so close to me so suddenly and unexpectedly, so I am just learning how to navigate this tricky road.
As well as taking this opportunity to apologise, I thought I’d also pass on some of the thoughts and words that have really helped me at this time, in the hope that they can be a source of support and comfort to any of you going through a difficult time.
If you’re telling yourself you ‘should’ be doing something or acting a certain way, then take that thought and put a pin in it. There is no right or wrong way to cope or grieve, and you need to do what feels right for you. If you want to stay in bed all day, that’s completely fine. If spending time with people feels good, do that. If you want to be alone, that’s totally fine too. You also shouldn’t feel guilty for crying, not crying, reacting and not reacting in the same way as other people. Everyone grieves differently and you need to do what feels right for you, not what you think you ‘should’ do.
This is different for everyone, but I think it’s important to say goodbye in your own way so you can start to get some realisation and closure. For me, the situation didn’t feel real at all until I went to the funeral. Then it really hit me that my friend was gone – which was so so tough – but has been instrumental in me starting to process and come to terms with this fact. Funerals aren’t for everyone, but I do think it’s important to say goodbye in your own way.
It can be really tough to talk about someone and look at pictures or videos when they’re no longer here, but I’ve found that remembering and embracing happy memories we shared does help me. Yes it makes me feel sad, and sometimes angry that my friend has gone, but it also reminds me how much he embraced life while he was here and I treasure those memories so much.
You might feel like bottling up and internalising all of your feelings, but talking about them and the person you’ve lost – although difficult – is an important part of the grieving process and will help you to start to come to terms with and deal with these emotions. There is no right or wrong person to talk to – it could be a friend, family member, colleague, GP, counsellor – but please please do talk to someone.
Look after yourself
It can be so easy to slide into a cycle of not looking after yourself if you are depressed or grieving (as I know only too well!) but do really try to look after yourself. You already have a lot of intense emotions to deal with, so try to put yourself in the best possible position to face them. Sleep as much as you need to, eat well, try to keep up with your daily routine and with each day that passes it will get a little bit easier.
Lots of love