When we lose someone we love, there are a lot of thoughts and feelings that flood in and overwhelm us. Dealing with the shock of it all can send anyone spiraling and unsure of what to think, feel, or do next.

Suicide is something that affects everyone in that person’s life. Everyone who cared about them is left struggling to understand why. They also have to figure out how to process their grief and determine what the next step is.

We can’t do it alone though, and there are many resources and people available to help us through this trying time.

Processing Your Grief

Losing a best friend is incredibly overwhelming. It’s as if a part of us was ripped out and we struggle to feel whole again. When we’re processing these feelings, it’s natural to try and shut them down. And when things get too difficult to walk through, it’s easy to try and avoid dealing with it all together.

As much as it seems like it would be easier to just bear through this, it’s actually very important that we take time to grieve and allow ourselves to process their death. It is ok to not be ok. It’s especially important to remember that now.

When we process grief, it’s important to remember that It can’t be forced through. Everyone responds to grief differently and you will need to give yourself time to work through it. Don’t rush this. Allow yourself to grieve and deal with this loss in a healthy way.

Dealing with Guilt

When a close friend ends his or her own life prematurely, we often feel guilt and assume responsibility. You may think it was your fault for missing the signs or that you weren’t there enough your friend, and that maybe things could have been different.

In reality, nobody can take the blame for this. This isn’t your fault. Everything happens for a reason and taking on that responsibility is an unfair burden to put on yourself.

Practical Ways to Deal with the Grief

When a loved one passes, the survivors often feel like every unoccupied moment is an eternity. Throwing ourselves into different activities can help fill the void, but it’s important to stay productive while still having quiet time to process.

Some more good ways to cope with grief are socializing and weekly therapy sessions. Dealing with death on our own is hard if not impossible, so being with friends and visiting a counselor is vital for jumping this hurdle.

Making and sticking to a routine is also really helpful during this time. Sometimes we can also have a tendency to socially isolate ourselves and making time to be with friends and family is key to avoiding this common pitfall. Having a structured daily schedule can help you balance time between getting out and staying in while also helping you stay accountable.

It’s also important to find ways to express how we feel. If you’re an artist, let your emotions out in your art. This is also true for musicians, writers, athletes, and even gamers. It’s also valuable to write in a journal as another way to track progress and vent our emotions.

Be Patient with Yourself

Right now, you’re dealing with a flurry of different emotions and it’s hard for anyone to stay level-headed when they’re coping with that. And that is ok. You don’t need to be at your best right now. Just take things one day at a time. Remember to let your loved ones help you. Communicate your needs and work to actively avoid lashing out on the ones who love you most.

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Alexis Schaffer

Alexis Schaffer struggled with depression for most of her life, being diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) from a young age. In high school, she was introduced to a psychology class and developed a deep interested in studying human behavior. During her senior year, she met her sweetheart and was instantly swept off her feet. They continued dating as she worked her way towards an undergraduate degree in psychology. But, just a year after graduating, the love of her life tragically died by hanging. Alexis couldn’t cope well with the grief and threw herself into total isolation before being hospitalized for suicidal ideation. There, she got the help she needed and started on the long road to finding happiness again. After leaving the facility, she decided to go back to school to be a mental health nurse so she could help others who were in the same situation. After tedious science classes and graduating with an associated in nursing, she was finally a registered nurse. It was only after a brief period of work that she discovered many other young adults also knew someone who had taken their lives. Sad, but determined, she began working exclusively with college-aged students experiencing depression or grief. She’s very fortunate to have helped hundreds of young people cope with disaster, stress, anxiety, and grief. Today, she writes mental health articles to spread information about coping with grief and depression while continuing to work with young adults who score high on suicidal ideation and depression indicators.

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