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To Sam

losing my best friend to suicide

About 2 weeks ago I lost my best friend to suicide. He was being bullied for being gay and he was bullied since year 7 and he was in year 9 when he committed suicide. I was with him the day before and he seemed fine. Then I wake the next day with about 50 texts from his sister. She said she had just got home from work to find him dead in the bath room. I've cried every night since and his funeral is tomorrow and I don't know if I should go or not. People have said that I've been really depressed since. And I don't know what to do because everyone is telling me to get over it and my dad even said "give it a week and it'll pass" I don't know what to do anymore.

thank you

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Sam

Hi there,

When someone you care about dies you might feel shocked about losing them, especially when it was unexpected. If someone ends their life, it can be very upsetting and it’s okay to feel sad and to cry.

Everyone reacts differently when they lose someone, there’s no right way to feel and you might feel angry, anxious or confused at times. It’s natural to think about whether you could have prevented them from dying and go back through conversations and messages to see whether there were any clues about how they were feeling. People who are feeling suicidal sometimes don’t tell anyone and it’s not possible to know how they were feeling or that they were thinking about ending their life.

There is no set amount of time for feeling better after bereavement and everyone goes through things in their own way. Don’t put any pressure on yourself to feel better or be back to normal when you’re not ready.

People who care about you might find it difficult to see you feeling upset and they will sometimes be unsure how to help or want you to feel better quickly. It’s okay to let them know you’re feeling sad and to let them know what they can do to help. That might be asking for a cuddle or listening to how you feel or looking through photographs together so that you can remember good times that you had with your friend.

It’s your decision whether or not to go to the funeral and although funerals can be very sad they’re also a chance to celebrate the person’s life and to share their memory with others who cared about them too. This can be helpful for you in the long run even if the day itself feels scary or difficult for you. If you decide to go, it can help to arrange to go with someone who can support you like a close friend or family member so that you’re not on your own.

It’s important to express your feelings and to get support and you can talk to your doctor if you think you might be depressed. Using the art box, posting on the message boards or talking to a counsellor at Childline are things you can do to help you cope.

I’m glad you sent this letter to me.

Take care,

Sam

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