I always get a little down at the beginning of November because I’m reminded of the loss of a dear friend. Today marks the 7-year anniversary of my best friend’s death. Her name was Macy, and she was taken from us too soon at the tender age of 15. She was one of the most important people in my life, and I had no idea how to handle her death.
I was exposed to death pretty early in my life, but Macy’s death was the first time I lost someone so close and so young. I went from crying nonstop to not being able to speak to being and outright mess. I remember having a massive fight with my parents for no reason because I didn’t have the tools to cope with her death. I didn’t come home for two days, and when I finally did, I told my parents I needed to see a therapist.
Death isn’t something you should know how to deal with when you’re younger. You shouldn’t know that kind of grief at that age. It’s painful and confusing, and you spend a lot of time questioning what happened and realizing your own mortality. It’s terrifying.
Today, I’m definitely sad even after all this time. I want to tell you that it does get easier, but that doesn’t mean you won’t hurt anymore or miss that person. I still have Macy’s number in my phone. Dealing with grief is one of the hardest things you’ll do in life, but if you have the right resources, you will be okay. Here are some ways you can cope while you’re grieving.
Let Yourself Grieve
The most important thing you need to do is let yourself grieve. Cry, scream, let yourself feel whatever emotions you need to. You have to let it out.
Give Yourself Some Alone Time
You might not want to be around anyone, especially in the first few days. That's okay. Take some time to process what happened. It may take you a day or a week.
But Don't Isolate Yourself Or Suppress What You're Feeling
Even though you need time to yourself, don't completely shut yourself off from everyone around you. It's much harder to cope when you feel like you're doing it alone. Don't ignore what you're feeling or isolate your friends and family. The best way to deal with grief is to actually grieve and confront it.
Going through all of these emotions and even processing a loss can take a huge toll on you. Make sure you're trying to get rest and sleep when you can. It might be tough for you to fall asleep, but getting a lot of rest can really help when you're grieving.
Let People Help You
I'm someone who hates asking for help so I refused to let anyone be there for me, which really was not helpful. Let your friends and family be there for you. Tell them what you need. If they're treating you too gently, let them know. It's so much easier to deal with the loss of a friend when you have a group of people supporting you.
Talk To Mutual Friends About Their Memory
One of the things that helped me the most was being able to talk to my other friends about Macy's memory. It's extremely helpful to talk about the good memories you had and being able to celebrate your friend's life. You can laugh and cry together.
Start A Routine
At some point, you do have to get back to your life. It's really hard to concentrate and focus when you're dealing with a death, but my best advice is to start slowly getting back into a routine. Keep a tight schedule and have things planned out. When you have structure and plans, it gives you something to focus on instead of focusing on how sad you are.
Talk To A Professional
I am a huge fan of therapy for everything because I find it to be very helpful in all sorts of situations, especially when grieving. Sometimes talking to a friend or family member isn't enough. My therapist helped me navigate what I was feeling and gave me various techniques on how to deal that were specific to me. A professional can really help you understand and get a hold on your grief.
Have you ever lost someone? How did you deal with the grief? Do you have any tips to add? Tell us in the comments!